Use Of Shock Cuffs On Tulsa Murder Suspect Raising Questions For Some
TULSA COUNTY, Oklahoma - Jury selection will continue for the third day in a row in a high-profile Tulsa murder case.
Prosecutors and defense lawyers for Cedric Poore hope to seat a jury and begin opening statements Wednesday.
Poore and his brother James are accused of killing four women at the Fairmont Terrace Apartments in January 2013. A jury has already found James Poore guilty.
Cedric Poore's trial is getting attention for another reason; a judge ordered Poore to wear a shock device during his trial.
Stun cuffs are kind of like Tasers but worn around a defendant's calf. The cuffs can send 80,000 volts into that person's body, and defendants wear them all the time at the Tulsa County Courthouse.
A promotional video shows Tulsa County Sheriff's deputies trying out the stun cuffs themselves, clearly illustrating the 80,000 volts to the calf is painful.
Tulsa County has had the devices for at least four years, and activist Marq Lewis said he can't believe it.
"My stomach dropped. Because I said, this cannot, this isn't true. We started doing some research and it is a thing," he said.
Cedric Poore is just the latest defendant ordered to wear a stun cuff during a trial. One Tulsa County judge said more than half of the defendants in his courtroom wear them.
Stun cuffs are not so routine in other states. A judge in Maryland was even banned from the bench after ordering a deputy to use one on a defendant.
Lewis believes the stun cuffs are inhumane.
"Humane treatment is necessary because they're assumed to be innocent until proven guilty," he said.
But Stun Cuffs' founder Brad Myers said that’s exactly why his product can help the defendant - it's hidden from the jury, under clothing, unlike handcuffs.
"During a trial, the prisoner has to appear innocent since they have not been proven guilty. And this device allows them to be in the courtroom without shackles," Myers said.
The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office said it is not doing interviews on the topic, by request of the District Attorney's Office.
It said the stun cuff is only worn when the defense agrees to it or the judge orders it.
The company's founder also said Tulsa County has twelve stun cuffs, which cost $1,500 each.