During James Holmes’ trial, a hidden harness will restrain him to the courtroom floor. Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. announced that the accused mass murderer will be anchored to the floor using a harness device concealed under his clothing.
In past court appearances, Holmes‘ wrists and ankles were restrained with visible shackles. His attorneys argued that the shackles may prejudice the jury against their client.
As reported by USA Today, the restraints are a necessity as Holmes is accused of a violent crime. Judge Samour took the attorneys argument into consideration, eventually making a compromise.
The shackles will be removed from his wrists and ankles. However, James Holmes will wear a hidden harness. An earlier ruling will allow Holmes to appear in civilian clothing during the trial.
Judge Samour also ruled that jury sequestration would be too costly and may dissuade jurors from service. He stated that attorneys are free to renew their sequestration request at a later date.
James Holmes is accused of opening fire inside a crowded Aurora, Colorado movie theater during the latest Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises. He is accused of killing 12 people and injuring 70 others during the mass shooting.
Holmes plead not guilty by reason of insanity.
As reported by Fox News, Judge Samour stated that 5,000 summons’ went out to potential jurors. He does not expect to get more than 3,500 responses. The judge is considering seating 12 alternate jurors, which is more than usual.
Holmes’ attorneys and Judge Samour are concerned that jurors will be exposed to a high volume of information through the media. Samour has ruled against sequestration at this time. However, he has stated that jurors may not possess electronic devices in the courtroom or during deliberations.
James Holmes’ attorneys expect that the hidden harness restraint and civilian clothing will allow their client a more fair trial.