Are you always handcuffed in court

Meissen. That must be a very bad finger. The accused is brought out from prison, guarded by four judicial employees. His hands are handcuffed and he must be handcuffed during the entire trial. “The prison ordered it that way,” said the judge when asked by the perplexed public prosecutor.

Is the 29-year-old Radebeuler, who had no permanent address before his imprisonment, i.e. was homeless, a felon? Not even close. The acts that he is accused of are petty crime. At the end of October 2015, more than two years ago, the young man took the 4 tram from Radebeul to Weinböhla. During a ticket inspection it was found that he did not have a ticket. This is what lawyers call for fraudulent achievements, which is why he is now in court. The damage caused by his act; 2.30 euros.

And he is made a second reproach. At the end of November last year it was checked in Dresden at midnight. The police found him 0.64 grams of marijuana, an almost imperceptible amount. This is followed by a complaint for unauthorized possession of narcotic drugs. And not only that. The police discover that the man has an arrest warrant. Because the defendant did not pay a fine. Incidentally, also because of fraudulent performance. For this he was sentenced to 55 daily rates of ten euros each. Because he cannot pay the 550 euros, he is now serving the sentence and has to go to jail for 55 days.

The Radebeuler frankly admits the deeds. Do you really have to bring criminal proceedings against this man, who is already in custody, because of two minor cases? No, my judge and prosecutor. The court terminates the proceedings at the request of the public prosecutor. So the trial has at least one small advantage for the accused. He's coming out of jail for a minute. But why so much effort, why four guards, why especially the handcuffs during the trial? If he rioted in prison, he became violent. No, says Benno Kretzschmar, the press spokesman for the correctional facility in Zeithain, where the Radebeuler is currently serving his substitute custodial sentence. The decision as to whether a defendant has to be brought before the defendant in handcuffs and to follow the trial with them is judged according to whether there is a risk of escape. This is low if someone reports to custody themselves, but larger for prisoners who have to be brought by the police, he explains. In the present case, however, his conduct in prison and findings from the defendant's environment were also decisive, according to the press spokesman.

The fact that there were four judicial officers in the room, however, had a completely different reason. A witness from Zeithain who was heard in the subsequent hearing was brought before that day. All had come in one vehicle. While the witness was sitting in the cell in the courtroom, his two guards took a seat with their colleagues in the courtroom.