WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court says that a federal appeals court was wrong to order Michigan to retry or release a convicted murderer because his rights were violated when he was shackled at trial.
In a decision that split the court 6-3 along ideological lines, the court’s conservative majority said the appeals court should have applied two different legal tests, not just one, and that Ervine Davenport's case didn’t pass the second test.
State courts had agreed that shackling him at his trial violated his rights but said the error was harmless because it did not affect the verdict in his case. But a federal appeals court concluded he should be released or retried.
The Supreme Court reversed that decision.