State v. Brewster

In State v. Brewster, 164 W.Va. 173, 261 S.E.2d 77 (1979), Brewster was forced to wear handcuffs while he was on trial for armed robbery. No record was made to determine if manifest necessity existed. Brewster appealed. On appeal, this Court held that "[a] criminal defendant has the right, absent some necessity relating to courtroom security or order, to be tried free of physical restraints." Syllabus Point 3, id. The Brewster Court concluded that automatic reversal was not required. Instead, the case was remanded for an evidentiary hearing to determine if sufficient facts existed to warrant trying the defendant in handcuffs. If so, the conviction would be re-entered. If not, the defendant would be granted a new trial.