This was the image of the defendant that a jury saw in an Ohio murder trial. Neil Simpson was on trial for the murder of a pizza shop owner in course of a robbery. After he spat at the jury, the judge ordered mosquito netting and a plastic diaper put on his face. Usually, a defendant will be excluded from the courtroom or required to watch via videocamera in such circumstances. That is sometimes not available. However, the use of netting and a diaper in this way adds an unnecessary and disturbing image in court.
Obviously, Simpson already tainted the jury by his spitting at them, but judges have a need to minimize such scenes of restraint.
For his part, Simpson (who is clearly disturbed) announced how he wanted to die after he was found guilty: “I have two ways that I prefer to be murdered, one is to be crucified in front of the courthouse for all to see it, for all the convicts throughout the world, and the other way would be to be stoned to death by the victim’s family, to be make them feel better.”
Instead, the judge sentenced Simpson to life in prison without parole.