Former South Carolina legal professional Alex Murdaugh, who stands accused of killing his spouse and son, has questioned the judge presiding about the murder demo to allow him to look in the courtroom without being shackled.
Lawyers for Murdaugh argued in a motion filed in condition court on Wednesday that authorities really should be pressured to unshackle him in any courtroom proceedings the place information cameras are existing.
“There is no precise, special have to have to shackle Mr. Murdaugh in the courtroom,” the protection lawyers wrote, arguing that he did not pose an escape danger or a danger to many others.
The Supreme Court has held that defendants may possibly not be visibly shackled in front of customers of a jury so as to steer clear of any prejudice and to make certain a fair demo. This applies even in the course of the sentencing stage of court docket proceedings, unless there are distinctive protection explanations.
But Murdaugh’s lawyers note that murder defendants are typically shackled through pretrial hearings when a jury has not yet been decided on.
Jury choice for the Murdaugh murder demo is not envisioned to begin until eventually Jan. 23, but his lawyers contend that he ought to not have to don shackles all through any pretrial hearings because of the intense media fascination close to the case.
“Most murder defendants do not have Television crews filming every single pretrial hearing,” defense attorneys wrote, arguing this sort of illustrations or photos could prejudice the minds of prospective jurors.
“The issue is how the Court docket makes it possible for the defendant in this circumstance to be exhibited to the jury pool in progress of jury collection,” they added.
A representative for the South Carolina lawyer basic did not instantly reply to a request for comment on the motion.
Murdaugh was charged in July above the gruesome killings of spouse Maggie and son Paul, who were observed shot to dying in the family’s rural hunting lodge on June 7, 2021.
In a different filing before this month, Murdaugh’s attorneys mentioned he had an alibi for the time of the fatalities that included him driving to take a look at his mother.
Nearly 3 months just after the killings, Murdaugh was arrested and billed with scheduling his very own botched loss of life so that his surviving son, Buster, could receive a $10 million insurance payout.
He’s also been billed with 90 counts of fraud and dollars laundering connected to insurance coverage payouts managed via his former legislation firm, which includes some linked to the loss of life of his former housekeeper.
Murdaugh’s law license was suspended following his company learned he experienced misappropriated millions of pounds to fund an dependancy to oxycodone, for which he subsequently went to rehab. He was officially disbarred in July.