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Name: People v. Vance
Case #: C049453
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 3 DCA
Opinion Date: 07/31/2006

In 1984, the defendant pled not guilty by reason of insanity to attempted murder and was committed to the state hospital. During trial proceedings to determine whether his commitment should be extended, he appeared in shackles before the jury. The court did not formally instruct the jury regarding the restraints, and the court denied counsel’s request that the shackles be removed. The Court of Appeal reversed the judgment, finding that the court had not properly exercised its discretion in determining whether the defendant should be shackled, but had instead left the determination up to law enforcement officers. Furthermore, the court’s failure to exercise its discretion was not cured by an informal admonishment that the jury should not consider the shackling in hearing defendant’s testimony. Finally, the court held that the “manifest need” requirement of People v. Duran (1976) 16 Cal.3d 282 applies to a proceeding under Penal Code section 1026.5 as well as to a criminal trial.