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Name: People v. Marks
Case #: S040575
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 07/24/2003
Subsequent History: None

The use of security personnel, placing a deputy sheriff next to appellant during his testimony, doe not require the manifest need standard as for shackling. Here, defendant had previously attacked his own attorney and had been disruptive in the courtroom. Prior to the start of trial, defense counsel had requested that he be subject to physical restraints, which had been denied. However, the court reconsidered the issue when defendant was to take the stand because of the proximity of the jury box to the witness stand (some 30 – 40 feet away). Evidence of defendant’s competence was sufficient despite numerous defense experts that testified that he was incompetent. (Compare, People v. Samuel (1981) 29 Cal.3d 489.) First, the defense evidence (most of which came from defendant) was not compelling and the bases for the experts testimony was suspect. In addition, the prosecution produced abundant evidence that contradicted the defense testimony.