By David M. Herszenhorn Nov. 18, 2013
Although there has been little research on the potential influence of locked docks on the verdicts reached by judges or juries, experts argue that defendants are clearly put at a disadvantage.
“All the evidence that we can collect suggests that it’s prejudicial,” said David Tait, a professor at the University of Western Sydney in Australia who has studied the issue.
Courts in France, England, Canada and much of Australia commonly place criminal defendants in docks made of wood or a combination of wood and glass. In England, docks are required to have side walls more than seven feet tall. Higher-security docks are often enclosed by glass up to the ceiling.