A front-page story in the June 18 edition of The Columbian summarized our fight to get local judges to follow the 9th Circuit Court's ruling that routine pretrial shackling is a violation of the Fifth Amendment.
The article, "The case for and against shackles," included responses from the Clark County Jail Chief Ric Bishop, Clark County Prosecuting Attorney Tony Golik, Superior Court Administrator Jeff Amram and District Court Administrator Ela Selga.
It also included quotes from our managing partner, Christie Emrich, who told the newspaper, "Our opinion is the 9th Circuit was very clear, and a judge needs to make a determination, an individualized decision regarding each defendant and whether or not that person should be in shackles and if there are less restrictive means."
Golik said the issue of whether an inmate should be shackled is up to the judge, but as a "partial solution" he's advocating for expanding video conferencing to Clark County Superior Court so inmates wouldn't have to be brought to court from the jail for first appearances and arraignments.
The article did not, however, address how much that might cost. Expanding the use of video conferencing would require substantial upgrades to an old jail, particularly for Superior Court matters when defendants are facing serious felony crimes and need access to their attorneys.