How Justice Merchan Can Safely Jail Trump For Contempt

House Arrest at Trump Tower Enforced by Marshals and Ankle Bracelet
WASHINGTON - May 6, 2024 - PRLog -- Yesterday New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan again found Donald Trump in contempt for violating, for a second time, his judicial gag order, and repeated - apparently more sternly and seriously - his threat to put Trump in jail if the violations continue.

More specifically Merchan warned: "So as much as I don't want to impose a jail sanction, I want you to understand that I will if necessary and appropriate."

But most legal experts who have commented on the threat to jail the formal president opine that, given the need for the Secret Service to continue to protect him, it is very unlikely that he would be put into any jail, prison, or other penal facility.

But there is one way Trump could be effectively confined as punishment for any continued contempt, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf.

He could be put under house arrest; confined to his apartment complex in Trump Tower when he is not in court for his criminal trial or going to or coming from it; except if permitted to deviate for special events such as to attend his son's graduation.

Being confined to his luxury apartment is obviously far short of the punishment Trump would experience if confined to a typical jail cell, but it would be far more punishment and a stronger deterrent than the small monetary fines the judge can impose which have proven to be ineffective.

In his New York apartment, Trump would continue to receive the same protection by the Secret Service which he now enjoys.

But in addition the judge could order one or more members of the U.S. Marshal service - which already routinely monitors as well as protects jurors who are sequestered, witnesses, and others - to monitor Trump's whereabouts to be sure that he remains at Trump Tower in accordance with the court's restrictions on his movements.

In addition, the judge could order Trump to wear a trackable ankle bracelet (Ankle GPS Tracker) of the kind routinely used to monitor the whereabouts of prisoners on bail, witnesses who are due to testify, etc.

The indignity of having to wear a trackable ankle bracelet, "just like a common criminal," would provide an additional deterrent to make this form of house arrest even more effective as a deterrent, says Banzhaf.  @profbanzhaf

GW Law
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