DECK v. MISSOURI

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
04-5293
Petitioner 
Carman L. Deck
Respondent 
Missouri
Advocates
(argued the cause for Respondent)
(Attorneys for Petitioner, Counsel of Record)
Tags
Term:
Facts of the Case 

After the Missouri Supreme Court set aside Carman Deck's death sentence, Deck was presented at his new sentence hearing shackled with leg irons, handcuffs and a belly chain. Deck was again sentenced to death. The state supreme court rejected Deck's claim that his shackling violated the U.S. Constitution.

Question 

Does shackling a convicted offender during the penalty phase of a capital case violate the due process clauses of the Fifth and 14th Amendment?

Conclusion 
Decision: 7 votes for Deck, 2 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Due Process

Yes. Justice Stephen Breyer delivered the Court's 7-2 holding that the Constitution forbids the use of visible shackles during both a capital trial's guilt and penalty phases, unless such shackling is justified by an essential state interest specific to the defendant on trial (such as courtroom security). The majority argued that the law has long forbidden use of visible shackles during a capital trial's guilt phase, and that the reasons underlying this prohibition (like the possibility shackles will bias the jury) extend this rule to the penalty phase.

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DECK v. MISSOURI. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 10 November 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2004/2004_04_5293>.
DECK v. MISSOURI, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2004/2004_04_5293 (last visited November 10, 2014).
"DECK v. MISSOURI," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed November 10, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2004/2004_04_5293.