When Mille Lacs County, Mn., judges issued an order three years ago requiring everyone taken into custody by county officers to wear hand and leg restraints, they did so with the hope of shoring up courthouse security, says the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Last month, an 11-year-old boy was handcuffed, shackled, and held overnight for failing to appear in court to testify as a crime victim. The boy was picked up on a warrant for failing to appear in court. He was not charged with a crime.
“I’ve never heard of a policy like that,” said Richard Frase, a University of Minnesota law professor. “It’s so incredibly overbroad, it’s bound to produce problems like this. Anything you do that treats a witness or victim with the identical severity to what you do to a defendant has got to be questionable.”