On appeal, the West Virginia Supreme Court acknowledged that state rules allowed trial courts to deny criminal defendants' requests to wear street clothes at trial or sentencing hearings under some circumstances. However, the Court also found that the due process clauses of both the federal and state constitutions precluded trial courts from forcing criminal defendants to wear jail garb in front of the jury without a compelling reason.
Since the trial court hadn't shown good cause for making Finley wear jail clothes at his sentencing hearing, the Court held that doing so violated his due process rights. The case was remanded for an evidentiary hearing and re-sentencing if appropriate. See: State of West Virginia v. Jeffrey Finley, 219 W.Va. 747, 639 S.E.2d 839 (W.Va., 2006), cert. denied.
As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.
Already a subscriber? Login
Related legal case
State of West Virginia v. Jeffrey Finley
|Cite||219 W.Va. 747, 639 S.E.2d 839 (W.Va., 2006)|
|Level||State Supreme Court|