Anchorage, Alaska (KINY) - The practice of shackling defendants together in court is the target of a lawsuit filed last week against the Alaska Department of Public Safety and the court system.
Attorney Ember Tilton filed the litigation on behalf of inmates Jason McAnulty and Toby Spece, who requested they be unshackled during recent court appearances. The requests were denied by the court.
The lawsuit asks that defendants should not be shackled at pretrial hearings, and a judge should decided on a case by case basis whether or not a defendant poses a safety risk when they appear in court.
The practice of shackling inmates can save the court dollars as it increases security and reduces the risk of flight, but also can reduce the amount of bailiffs and guards needed to supervise them.
The Department of Public Safety did not comment on the pending litigation.