WATCH: Ohio Judge Orders Defendant’s Mouth Taped Shut After He Refused To Stop Interrupting


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An Ohio judge ordered a defendant’s mouth taped shut during a courtroom hearing after he refused numerous requests to stop talking.

The incident took place last week, when a judge in Cleveland, Ohio, ordered Franklyn Williams, 32, to remain silent during his sentencing hearing.

Despite warnings from Judge John Russo, Williams continued to speak over the judge and his attorneys, according to the video.

“Mr. Williams,” Russo says on the video, “I’m the judge in the matter. Shut your mouth and I will tell you when you can talk. You got it?”

Russo proceeds to tell Williams that he would like to hear from the defendant’s attorneys first and then will give him a chance to speak, but Williams continues to talk.

“You are trying to take my life, and you are not letting me tell you what’s going on,” Williams says on the video.

After several interruptions, Russo then gives him a last warning.

“Listen to me, if we have to, I will gag you … you will get a chance to talk,” Russo says. “Just zip it, you will get a chance to talk, I’m going to give you a chance to talk.”

Williams continues to talk, and Russo orders for Williams’ mouth to be taped shut, according to the video.

Six sheriff’s deputies walk up to Williams and as Williams tries to get up, one of the officers is shown forcing him back down. Another officer proceeds to tape his mouth with red duct tape.

The video quickly caught the attention of the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, which characterized the judge’s actions as humiliating to the defendant.

“We cannot regard this as normal. It is humiliating. It doesn’t just deprive this person of the opportunity to speak before his life is taken away, it steals his dignity. Everything about this is wrong,” the organization said in a tweet.

Williams was sentenced to prison for aggravated robbery, kidnapping and misuse of credit cards, according to the Cuyahoga County Clerk of Court’s online records.


  1. I had a classmate who has had that done to him back in the day when chutzpa wasn’t tolerated! That kid turned out quite good, I must say! Today the rabbi or teacher would be behind bars for several years! Gone are the days when there was derech eretz!

  2. Actually, as odd as this may be, the jerk did not give the judge a chance. This defendant was advised numerous times that he will have his chance to speak. The courtroom demands decorum. Without any respect for authority, the proceedings cannot continue. The judge was correct, and the ACLU needs to be duct taped, too.

  3. Toi: a human can become lower than a dog they doing despicable things like kidnapping and robberies. The aclu are known idiots who defend criminals and are bigoted to anyone with white skin.

  4. Not sure why @Putin thinks this is my endorsement of the ACLU. I’m quite the hardcore right winger, I just think taping a defendant’s mouth shut is disgusting, especially how the bailiff/deputy was lecturing him as it was put on. Disapproval of treatment of a defendant on my part does not somehow constitute allegiance to left wing loonies.

  5. “אל תרבה שיחה עם האשה” — “ידועים דברי חז”ל (קידושין מט ב) “עשרה קבין של שיחה ירדו לעולם, תשעה נטלו נשים”

  6. This is the United States – a free country and a democracy, with standards of behavior that do not mimic those of dictatorships or third-world kleptocracies. This is not who we are. We are better than this, and the judge in this case should be disciplined, if not removed from his position.

  7. who we are?? maybe you not us….you are a bunch of brain dead humans you left wing idiots. …what was so terrible? ..this low life crook was warned again and again.. third world dictatorships’?third world dictatorships he be shot between the eys long time ago

  8. Kudos to Midwest and Toi,
    Putin ,” human can become lower than a dog they doing despicable things like kidnapping and robberies. ”

    We are supposed to treat with consideration even someone who is deserving of death ,unless they’re a meisis