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News Link • Sexuality: Sex and the Law

Tarrant County judge used electric shocks to punish sex offender...

• BY JEFF CAPLAN AND MITCH MITCHELL

State District Judge George Gallagher of Tarrant County told a bailiff on three occasions to punish an uncooperative defendant with electric shocks, and now the sex offender's conviction has been overturned and a new trial ordered.

Stun belts can be strapped around the legs of some defendants and used to deliver thousands of volts of electric shock in the instance a defendant turns violent or attempts to escape the courtroom. However, in the case of Terry Lee Morris, who was convicted in 2014 of charges of soliciting sexual performance from a 15-year-old girl, an appeals court found that Gallagher used electric shocks as punishment after Morris failed to answer the judge's questions properly.

Gallagher, the District 396 judge since 2000, declined to comment, as did a spokeswoman with the Tarrant County district attorney's office.

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