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Ronnie Hawkins

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July 9, 1998
Three-strikes defendant Ronnie Hawkins clashed verbally with Long Beach Municipal Judge Joan Comparet-Cassani almost as soon as his sentencing hearing began, court transcripts show. Six times, the judge ordered Hawkins, who was acting as his own attorney, to stop interrupting her. Here is a partial transcript of the hearing: Comparet-Cassani: "You are wearing a very bad instrument, and if you want to feel it, you can, but stop interrupting me."
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 31, 2001 | HENRY WEINSTEIN, TIMES LEGAL AFFAIRS WRITER
The use of electric stun belts to control verbal courtroom outbursts by defendants is unconstitutional, but the devices can be used if there is a security threat, a federal appeals court in San Francisco ruled Wednesday. In a 3-0 decision, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a Long Beach judge violated Ronnie Hawkins' rights when she ordered a bailiff to administer a 50,000-volt jolt of electricity to Hawkins after he interrupted her comments during a hearing.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 14, 1998
Re "Stun Belt Used for First Time on Defendant in L.A. Court," July 9: Clearly the courts recognize the public's ability to identify these horrific things for the torture devices they are. Otherwise a defendant would not be required to wear it underneath his clothing. No judge in this country should have the authority to activate one of these monstrosities without first being required to take a personal test ride with one of them. When Municipal Judge Joan Comparet-Cassani's turn comes along, I'm sure there's a guy named Ronnie Hawkins who'd love to get his hands on that remote control.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 30, 1998 | JACK LEONARD, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
A sentencing hearing was delayed Wednesday for a defendant who endured a 50,000-volt shock for interrupting a Long Beach judge. New defense attorneys asked for more time to seek a new trial. A month after suffering the electric jolt from a restraining stun belt, Ronnie Hawkins sat silently in a Long Beach courtroom Wednesday as Superior Court Judge Arthur Jean scheduled a hearing for Sept. 25 to rule on the new trial motion.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 31, 2001 | HENRY WEINSTEIN, TIMES LEGAL AFFAIRS WRITER
The use of electric stun belts to control verbal courtroom outbursts by defendants is unconstitutional, but the devices can be used if there is a security threat, a federal appeals court in San Francisco ruled Wednesday. In a 3-0 decision, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a Long Beach judge violated Ronnie Hawkins' rights when she ordered a bailiff to administer a 50,000-volt jolt of electricity to Hawkins after he interrupted her comments during a hearing.
NEWS
July 9, 1998 | JACK LEONARD and MILES CORWIN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Ronnie Hawkins, a defendant in a three-strikes hearing, did not try to escape from the Long Beach courtroom. He did not attack a lawyer. He did not lunge at a witness. His courtroom offense that outraged Municipal Judge Joan Comparet-Cassani was talking too much.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 30, 1998 | JACK LEONARD, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
A sentencing hearing was delayed Wednesday for a defendant who endured a 50,000-volt shock for interrupting a Long Beach judge. New defense attorneys asked for more time to seek a new trial. A month after suffering the electric jolt from a restraining stun belt, Ronnie Hawkins sat silently in a Long Beach courtroom Wednesday as Superior Court Judge Arthur Jean scheduled a hearing for Sept. 25 to rule on the new trial motion.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 10, 1998 | JACK LEONARD, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
"I guess that's how a guy feels who goes to the electric chair," Ronnie Hawkins said Thursday, referring to the 50,000-volt jolt he endured while wearing a restraining stun belt in a Long Beach courtroom. Speaking in a jailhouse interview, Hawkins recalled his disbelief as he heard Municipal Judge Joan Comparet-Cassani order a bailiff to activate the belt's current and the sensation as the device above his left kidney was turned on.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 3, 1998
The retrial of man suspected of burglary who got a court-ordered stun belt shock for speaking out of turn is set for Dec. 24. On June 30, just before he was to be sentenced for commercial burglary and petty theft, Ronnie Hawkins became the first Los Angeles County defendant to receive a jolt from an electronic security belt.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 17, 1998
The American Civil Liberties Union threatened Thursday to seek an injunction against Los Angeles County's superior and municipal courts unless they ban the activation of electric stun belts on defendants for nonviolent behavior. The civil rights group issued the threat in letters to the judges presiding over the two courts, more than two weeks after a Long Beach judge ordered a defendant shocked for interrupting her.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 14, 1998
Re "Stun Belt Used for First Time on Defendant in L.A. Court," July 9: Clearly the courts recognize the public's ability to identify these horrific things for the torture devices they are. Otherwise a defendant would not be required to wear it underneath his clothing. No judge in this country should have the authority to activate one of these monstrosities without first being required to take a personal test ride with one of them. When Municipal Judge Joan Comparet-Cassani's turn comes along, I'm sure there's a guy named Ronnie Hawkins who'd love to get his hands on that remote control.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 10, 1998 | JACK LEONARD, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
"I guess that's how a guy feels who goes to the electric chair," Ronnie Hawkins said Thursday, referring to the 50,000-volt jolt he endured while wearing a restraining stun belt in a Long Beach courtroom. Speaking in a jailhouse interview, Hawkins recalled his disbelief as he heard Municipal Judge Joan Comparet-Cassani order a bailiff to activate the belt's current and the sensation as the device above his left kidney was turned on.
NEWS
July 9, 1998 | JACK LEONARD and MILES CORWIN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Ronnie Hawkins, a defendant in a three-strikes hearing, did not try to escape from the Long Beach courtroom. He did not attack a lawyer. He did not lunge at a witness. His courtroom offense that outraged Municipal Judge Joan Comparet-Cassani was talking too much.
NEWS
July 9, 1998
Three-strikes defendant Ronnie Hawkins clashed verbally with Long Beach Municipal Judge Joan Comparet-Cassani almost as soon as his sentencing hearing began, court transcripts show. Six times, the judge ordered Hawkins, who was acting as his own attorney, to stop interrupting her. Here is a partial transcript of the hearing: Comparet-Cassani: "You are wearing a very bad instrument, and if you want to feel it, you can, but stop interrupting me."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 26, 1998
A defendant who endured a 50,000-volt jolt for interrupting a Long Beach judge was ordered to return to court Oct. 23 for a hearing to determine if he should receive a new trial. The motion seeking a retrial for Ronnie Hawkins, 48, contends that he did not receive a fair trial the first time because he was acting as his own attorney, and therefore had inadequate representation. Hawkins was convicted of stealing $265 worth of over-the-counter painkillers.
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