New Judge in George Zimmerman Case is Married to a State Homicide Prosecutor

Did George Zimmerman catch a break or step on a landmine by getting a new judge today? His case will be presided over by Circuit Court Judge Kenneth Lester, Jr. The first judge who was next in line to succeed Judge Recksielder declined the case because he used to practice with Mark O'Mara and O'Mara is godfather to one of his children.

Next in line was Judge Kenneth Lester, Jr. He now has the case. At the very end of a long Orlando Sentinel article, it discloses that Judge Lester is married to a long-time homicide prosecutor in the state's attorney's office in Orange County. (Orange County is adjacent to Seminole County and includes Orlando. It's also the county that filed battery charges against Zimmerman in 2005.) See updates below)[More..]

Lester is married [sic] Dorothy Sedgwick, a long-time homicide prosecutor at the State Attorney's Office in Orange County.

He's sentenced several people to death, and while in private practice, intervened to stop the state from releasing an inmate early.

In 1992, while in private practice, he helped keep the man who tortured and murdered 5-year-old Ursula Sunshine Assaid from being released early from state prison, said long-time friend and former state legislator Gary Siegel.

Donald McDougall was about to be released after serving 10 years of a 34-year sentence, but Lester, Siegel and others traveled to Tallahassee on Christmas Eve, met with the state's corrections chief and an assistant Florida attorney general and lobbied to keep McDougall locked up.

How has he ruled as a judge in the past and are his rulings upheld by appeals courts?

Here's a sampling from Google. It's not intended to be a complete analysis, it's just what the first five or six pages of Google had. The search words I used if anyone wants to do more research, are "kenneth lester jr + florida 5th dca."

In 2004, he granted a defendant a downward departure at sentencing and was reversed by the appeals court.

In 2004, he refused to suppress drugs seized during a traffic stop. The appeals court reversed, finding the traffic stop unlawful.

In 2005, Judge Lester refused to suppress evidence in a case where the defendant said he had been unlawfully detained and searched. The appeals court reversed his ruling, stating "A stop without a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity occurred and [defendant] Oslin's consent to the search of his person was invalid as a product of an illegal stop."

In another case in 2004, Judge Lester granted the defendant's pre-trial motion to dismiss a drug charge after a hearing at which the state had to present a prima facie case. (The motion was brought under the same rule that some pre-trial motions for stand your ground immunity are based on.) The appeals court reversed him.

In 2007, his ruling granting a defendant's motion to suppress was reversed. In 2006, the appeals court reversed another decision in which he had granted a defendant's motion to suppress.

[The defendant] filed a motion to dismiss the possession charge pursuant to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.190[c](4) on the ground that there are no material disputed facts underlying this charge against him, and that they do not establish a prima facie case of guilt.

The function of a "c4" motion to dismiss is to require the state to present a prima facie case of guilt against the accused, similar to a summary judgment situation in a civil case. ... If the undisputed facts do not legally constitute prima facie proof of the crime charged, or if they affirmatively establish a valid defense, a motion to dismiss should be granted. However, if the undisputed facts permit the conclusion the defendant could be found guilty of the charged crime, the motion must be denied. ...All reasonable inferences that arise from the undisputed facts must be taken in a light most favorable to the prosecution's case.

In 2002, he denied a defendant's post-conviction motion to set aside his conviction based on ineffective assistance of counsel and a claim his plea was involuntary. The appeals court agreed that the defendant failed to establish ineffective assistance of counsel, but reversed Judge Lester on the issue of the voluntariness of the plea, and remanded the case for a hearing on the issue.

In 2003, Judge Lester imposed consecutive sentences on a defendant, saying the law required it. The Court of Appeals reversed, and sent the case back to him to use the correct standard.

Last month, an appeals court reversed Judge Lester in a parental rights case where he had ordered the child taken from the mother and gave custody to the father under the supervision of child protective services. The appeals court said his ruling violated the mother's due process rights. A similar reversal of his ruling against a mother occurred in 2005.

In 1999, Judge Lester was reversed by an appeals court for failing to consider an entrapment defense.

In 2006, a defendant appealed his conviction claiming Judge Lester erred in allowing the state to excuse a black juror. The appeals court affirmed the judge, saying the excusal was not in error.

In 2001, the appeals court upheld his denial of a defendant's motion for judgment of acquittal. In 2003, it upheld his denial of a motion to suppress a statement made by a defendant to an investigator.

In 2007, Judge Lester refused to consider a defendant's motion for a lesser sentence, holding he had no jurisdiction to do so. The appeals court reversed, holding he did have jurisdiction.

As I said, this is not complete description of appellate review of his cases. I'm out of time to do more. I don't see much of a pattern here, or any particular bias, and while there are several reversals, he obviously has handled so many cases, they could represent just a smattering of his overall cases. I'm not drawing any conclusion from them.

Although, in light of the reversals that popped up on Google, I do find it somewhat amusing that his daughter told the Sentinel:

She has never saw her father agonize over a ruling. "He basically told me it should not be hard to make the right decision if you follow the law," she said.

I doubt we will get an unbiased assessment of the Judge from any lawyers practicing in Seminole County. In fact, I would expect universal praise. No lawyer in their right mind would publicly criticize a judge he or she has to appear before regularly.

I'm more interested in the closeness between Seminole County and Orange County, where his wife is a homicide prosecutor. The counties border on each other. His wife works for the State Attorney's Office, just as Angela Corey and her deputy prosecutors work for the State's Attorney's Office. Do they share investigators? Even though the counties are in different judicial districts, the same agency employs both. Will information be shared? Do investigators for one county work or consult with those in the other? I think O'Mara may have jumped from the frying pan into the fire with this judicial switch.

George Zimmerman's bail hearing will be held on Friday, as scheduled, at 9:00 a.m.

Update: CNN sings the judge's praises, and provides a biography, that names his wife, but doesn't mention she's a state homicide prosecutor. Local lawyers are, as I predicted, fawning over him. One does mention that although he's fair, "he's no friend to the defense."

Update: It was Orange County that charged Zimmerman with battery on a law enforcement officer in 2005, a charge that was ultimately dismissed. The photo of Zimmerman in the orange jumpsuit was his booking photo from that arrest, and was given to the media as a handout by the Orange County Sheriff's office for inclusion in reports of his being charged in Trayvon Martin's case. In this recent MSNBC report, Michael Isikoff interviews the lead Orange County prosecutor on Zimmerman's case, David Chico, who opines Zimmerman could have been charged with a felony and says, "I've seen felonies charges charged with less conduct that Mr. Zimmerman is alleged to have done that night at the bar." (Zimmerman was first charged with a felony, it was reduced to a misdemeanor and then dismissed.)

There's no way Corey's office and investigators did not fully examine Zimmerman's Orange County file and consult with prosecutors there. If the state intends to use the prior arrest against him at the bail hearing, or to impeach his testimony on the self-defense issue or any character witnesses he may call as to his reputation for peacefulness in the community, they are obviously going to have to consult with that office -- the same office where Judge Lester's wife is a prosecutor.

In prior murder trials that Ms. Sedgwick tried, news reports refer to her as the "chief homicide prosecutor" for the county. Unless she's been demoted, which I doubt, she still holds that position. She easily could be privy to information transmitted by her office to the Zimmerman prosecutors. Is this an apparent conflict of interest for Judge Lester? Does it create an appearance of impropriety?

Apparently, in most states, it would not. A judge's relationship to prosecutors is held to a different standard than his or her relationship to private lawyers under the (dubious, in my view) theory that prosecutors aren't making money from their cases and therefore don't have any particular incentive to care if they lose any individual case. The second reason given is that (shorter version) prosecutors are particularly upstanding since their mission is to represent all the people of a state, not just a particular person or client.

Thus, rules about potential conflicts that might arise between a judge and members of his spouse's law firm don't apply if the spouse's law firm is the prosecutor's office. In that event, there's no carryover.

Probably the only state that has found differently in a comparable, but not identical situation, is my own: Colorado. In Smith v. Beckman, 683 P.2d 1214, 1216 (Colo. Ct. App. 1984), the Colorado Court of Appeals found an appearance of impropriety requiring recusal when a judge's wife was a prosecutor in the same DA's office that was trying a misdemeanor case before him, even though she hadn't worked on or appeared in court on that particular case.

The [judicial] code is designed to assure not only that judges perform their duties in a manner that is, in fact, above reproach, but also they must conduct the affairs before their court in such a way as to enhance the respect of the judiciary in the eyes of the public. Therefore, the possibility that the facts alleged may give rise to the appearance of impropriety must always receive the highest consideration in ruling on a motion for disqualification.... It is of paramount importance that our judges meticulously avoid any appearance of partiality, not only to secure the confidence of litigants before their courts, but to retain public respect.

The marriage relationship tipped the scales.

The circumstances here are such that an appearance of impropriety is created by the close nature of the marriage relationship. A husband and wife generally conduct their personal and financial affairs as a partnership. In addition to living together, a husband and wife are also perceived to share confidences regarding their personal lives and employment situations. Generally, the public views married people as "a couple," as "a partnership," and as participants in a relationship more intimate than any other kind of relationship between individuals.

In our view the existence of a marriage relationship between a judge and a deputy district attorney in the same county is sufficient to establish grounds for disqualification, even though no other facts call into question the judge's impartiality. Therefore, we hold that Judge Beckman should have granted the motion and disqualified himself.

How would the case have turned out if it the case was a nationally high-profile murder case and the judge's wife was the chief homicide prosecutor in the office in the next county, and her office had previously brought and dismissed criminal charges that originally included an allegation of violent conduct? Hard to say.

But other states think Colorado's finding went too far. It probably wouldn't be an issue for these states that the judge goes home every night to a spouse who tries high-profile murder cases in an adjoining county; colleagues in her office previously prosecuted the same defendant; and evidence from the case prosecuted by her office might potentially be an issue in the current trial. These states would likely find no reason to think the judge might not be completely impartial -- or that a reasonable person on the street would be concerned that such circumstances might affect or bias a judge's rulings. For example, in a Minnesota case, State v. Jacobs 791 N.W.2d 300, 302-303 (Minn. Ct. App. 2010), the court criticized the Colorado ruling and agreed with a contrary ruling in Wisconsin case, and held:

The closeness of the marital relationship, relied on in Beckman, is counter-balanced by the institutional aspects of employment in a public law firm such as a county attorney's office. As noted by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, the "special characteristics of government attorneys make it unlikely that a judge's relationship with one would affect his or her impartiality." The Harrell court noted that a prosecutor has no financial interest in the outcome of a particular prosecution and an insufficient reputational interest to create an appearance of impropriety in the prosecutor's spouse. The court noted: "The thought that a judge would have an increased propensity to convict criminals because of such a relationship is . . . preposterous."

We do not believe that the institutional loyalty of a prosecutor-spouse could reasonably appear to affect the impartiality of the judge-spouse. As noted above, a judge's own prior legal employment and whatever loyalties it might have created is something that the courts presume judges are capable of putting aside unless they personally participated in the same matter

The MN court says prosecutors are especially trustworthy:
Even from the institutional perspective, we note that prosecutors are not merely advocates but also "ministers of justice" charged with protecting the rights of the accused as well as the rights of the public.
The MN court also cites a Michigan case for the proposition that prosecutors offices operate under a "traditional credo" that the office prevails when "justice is done," not merely when it wins a case.

So, because the judge's wife is prosecutor rather than a private lawyer, and because prosecutors are especially high-minded public servants, without a financial stake in the outcome, so long as the judge's wife isn't personally involved in the case, it's no more problematic than if she worked for the man on the moon. There's no appearance of a conflict or bias.

Nor according to the vast majority of states, would a reasonable person have a concern that the judge and his wife might discuss aspects of the case, or that he might be exposed to or influenced by pro-prosecution views on the case outside of the courtroom. Or that she might know and share with him details of her office's prior prosecution and dropping of charges against Zimmerman. Or that she would discuss the case with her husband and perhaps without realizing it, pass along helpful tips to others in her office who might pass them on to those prosecuting or investigating the case.

O'Mara won't challenge this judge, he's unlikely to win. And he needs to get moving on the bail motion, which even this Judge, in my view, is likely to grant. But considering the case as a whole, as between a judge whose husband is partners with a criminal defense lawyer who goes on TV, and a judge whose wife is a chief homicide prosecutor in the adjoining county, he can't be happy with outcome. I sure wouldn't be.

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    I said the other day... (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by bmaz on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 09:07:50 PM EST
    ...that, were I O'Mara, I would think long and hard about bouncing Recksiedler; there was just something that struck my gut as being okay about her. And she seemed very bright from her CV.  I am sticking with that call doubly after seeing the replacement obtained.

    I said something similar (none / 0) (#5)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 10:13:58 PM EST

    O'Mara has to consider the alternative pool of judges before making his decision on whether to request another judge. It's like picking a jury, when you are down to your last challenges. Before you excuse the next juror, you look to see who is left in the pool and weigh the risk that the one you really don't want will be called next. Sometimes you take the risk, other times you keep the juror you're not crazy about.

    Perhaps you don't mean "ACLU" literally (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by Peter G on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 12:04:09 PM EST
    In fact, the ACLU is against hate-crimes legislation that increases criminal penalties based on the defendant's ideological or belief-system -- i.e., bias -- motivation, on First Amendment grounds. ACLU supports "hate crimes" laws only if limited to penalizing the intentional selection of a victim based on that person's protected characteristics or status, and only if proven beyond a reasonable doubt and without reliance on the defendant's protected speech as evidence.

    No I didn't (none / 0) (#42)
    by jbindc on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 04:19:34 PM EST
    Which is I  put it in quotes.  Respondong to kdog's characterization .

    Sorry if that wasn't clear.


    Methinks (5.00 / 0) (#39)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 02:36:15 PM EST
    Can't talk about race; can't even mention it without ruffling conservative feathers.  How does the quote go, "The lady doth protest too much, methinks."

    The question that this social liberal has (none / 0) (#44)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 05:16:54 PM EST
    why do you want to talk about it? Obviously you want to make it an issue.

    This guy still sounds better. (none / 0) (#2)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 09:39:46 PM EST
    Why Judge Recksiedler waited until a motion was filed seeking her removal, I don't know.

    All I can say is, game on.

    Better for who? (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Mitch Guthman on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 12:26:58 PM EST
    There was never anything that required the original judge to get off of the case.  It certainly wasn't obligatory for the defense to paper her, either.  

    I'm sure that Zimmerman is greatly relieved that the judge who might have been ever so slightly biased in his favor has been replaced by what seems to be a caricature of a hanging judge.

    The only people that this is better for are those who want to see Zimmerman pay.  I appreciate that it's early days and I'm normally the guy who says that in most cases the courthouse lawyer is the right guy because he's better connected but I do not think that the Florida criminal defense bar has exactly been covering itself with glory in this case.  I think Zimmerman either needs to somehow bring in a big gun trial lawyer who know what he or she is doing and hire locals as support or go with the public defender.

    Seriously, if you were Zimmerman would you still have any confidence in O'Mara?  I wouldn't.


    One dead and one (2.00 / 1) (#8)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 11:00:16 PM EST
    to be tried for second degree murder.

    And that's a game?


    It's an idiom, Jim. (none / 0) (#9)
    by Addison on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 11:07:08 PM EST
    Of course it is (1.00 / 0) (#17)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 09:50:44 AM EST
    And very instructive of the thoughts of the writer.

    Not really. (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Addison on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 10:18:24 AM EST
    Why (none / 0) (#3)
    by bmaz on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 09:47:50 PM EST
    Why do you say that? I saw nothing definitively mandating recusal. Probably looks better, but from what I saw, she would have been on viable ground in declining.

    Better in what way? (none / 0) (#19)
    by Anne on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 10:10:29 AM EST
    Qualifications?  Experience?  Judicial record and general philosophy?  I ask only because I think it may be a mistake to focus only on potential or possible conflicts, and O'Mara - and his client - can only hope they don't have to find out what "be careful what you wish for" means.

    Absent the glare of the media spotlight - which I admit to allowing to affect my initial take - the more I thought about it, the more it wasn't clear to me that the disclosure of the judge's husband being a partner in the law firm whose name partner has a CNN gig represented an insurmountable conflict.  

    The first rule in considering taking on any representation - or judicial assignment - is the identification and disclosure of potential conflicts, but the fact that there are connections or relationships does not and should not always mean that lawyers and judges cannot or should not be able to fairly conduct whatever the representation or involvement is.

    Some things are instantly identifiable as ethical deal-breakers, but I would venture to guess that most of them are in some gray area, and then it's up to those involved to work it out, one way or the other.

    Media attention adds another layer of complexity, but as we're seeing with this case, it can be nearly impossible, within a legal and judicial community, not to find potential conflicts in almost every case.  Lawyers and judges have to be committed to maintaining the highest ethical standards; for most of the lawyers I know, that's a second-nature kind of thing, because it gets drummed into them early and continues as they begin to practice.  

    I don't get involved in litigation matters, except for the couple of will contests I've seen over the years, but I did get involved, personally, as a witness against a woman who had rammed my car on the highway (long story).  Even though she had failed to show up at the first trial, and was convicted by default, Pennsylvania allows for a trial de novo, which she sought in an effort to get a different decision.  She got what she wanted - and the ADA told me afterward that the reason the case had been postponed so many times - by the defendant's attorney - was because they were waiting for a better, more favorable judge to be assigned.

    Am I saying that O'Mara was using the potential conflict to judge-shop?  No, I am absolutely not saying that.  But as much as we like to think trials are only about justice and truth, the reality is that a lot of the time they are about strategy, about controlling as much as you can the things that may work in your client's favor.  

    I have no doubt that O'Mara is an ethical, responsible attorney, but he would not be doing his job if he wasn't looking beyond the immediate borders of the recusal and assessing what was at stake; only time will tell if it was the right decision.


    It's his wife's office (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 10:09:02 PM EST
    that prosecuted Zimmerman in 2005 for battery (charges were first reduced from a felony to a misdemanor, a proseuctorial decision) and then dismissed. That orange jumpsuit photo of Zimmerman is from that arrest. Another prosecutor in her office has given interviews on Zimmerman.

    See my update.

    about Zimmerman's battery charge . . . (none / 0) (#7)
    by Luke Lea on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 10:36:30 PM EST
    Remind us why it was dismissed?  Did he just lay a hand on an undercover policeman or was something more involved?  Do we know?

    Zimmerman went through (none / 0) (#35)
    by SuzieTampa on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 01:58:10 PM EST
    a pre-trial diversion program that was open to him as a first-time offender. He was 21. The news stories I've seen say a state alcohol agent tried to escort him away from his friend, who was being arrested, and Zimmerman got into a scuffle with them. I don't know what that entailed.

    So, is there a conflict with every potential (none / 0) (#6)
    by caseyOR on Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 10:29:35 PM EST
    judge in that county? And if so, could a judge be brought in from a different county, a county hundreds of miles away from Seminole County, to hear this case?

    as caseyOR inquired, (none / 0) (#10)
    by cpinva on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 02:37:05 AM EST
    given a very limited pool of judges to select from, and the fact that almost every one will probably have some conflict, mr o'mara seems to be stuck between the proverbial rock and hard place. i wondered why he didn't request a change of venue altogether?

    can he also request a recusal by this judge, or is he limited to one per case?

    In the alternative (none / 0) (#11)
    by jbindc on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 06:51:50 AM EST
    Knowing that people will be watching this case very closely, and knowing that the focus will be on his relationship with his wife, he may bend over backwards to ensure that there are no questions as to his impartiality.

    Judge Lester (none / 0) (#12)
    by jbindc on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 07:01:54 AM EST
    Also practiced criminal and family law for 16 years before becoming a judge, so it looks like his family is "balanced out" - a prosecutor and a criminal defense attorney.

    What a Mess (none / 0) (#21)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 10:34:46 AM EST
    But if the judge is the law and order type, which the examples above seem to indicate, he might inclined to make the ruling that would bar GZ from prosecution.

    The case is so odd in that the hardcore conservatives all seem to be behind GZ, a defendant, which is not normally their side of choice.  What I can't figure out is it because of the facts at hand, which in my mind are gray at best, or because TM was black.  

    IOW, why is the Fox News consortium behind GZ ?

    The judge (none / 0) (#22)
    by jbindc on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 10:45:55 AM EST
    Was a criminal defense attorney.  Maybe he's "harder" (or a "Law & Order" - like that's a BAD thing) for a reason?

    Exactly (none / 0) (#23)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 11:03:29 AM EST
    Seems like those types have fallen on GZ side.

    Maybe 'cuz... (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by kdog on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 11:33:31 AM EST
    they identify with Zimmerman in ways they don't/can't/won't identify with others accused of crimes.

    Your typical Fox-er could be described as overly paranoid about "crime", not friendly to those considered "outsiders" in their gated communities, not fond of teenagers or the youth in general, and big on packing heat.  

    I've noticed the bizarro phenomenon you're on about too...the typical hang 'em high crowd is all about the defense in this one, and the typical ACLU-type bleeding heart type is pro-prosecution in this one.  

    The reason...the prejudices and pre-conceived notions we all carry to varying degrees.


    The politics of crime.... (none / 0) (#38)
    by Rojas on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 02:25:18 PM EST
    Or the crime of politics...
    I don't believe this is bizarre phenomenon at all.

    Use the correct code and you can raise a lynch mob at any go to meeting short of the Quakers.

    Your "typical ACLU-type bleeding heart type" went the way of the dinosaur a long time ago.  


    we're all raised and weaned on (none / 0) (#59)
    by jondee on Fri Apr 20, 2012 at 11:30:38 AM EST
    black 'n white, us and them, Evil-is-lurking-out-there-somwhere narratives; which are being hawked 24-7 to those of us running on mental autopilot,( which is most of us, at least some of the time..)
    Plus, it just feels so effing good to be caught up in the wave of a momentary righteous crusade..Don't it?

    In my experience, criminal defense (none / 0) (#55)
    by oculus on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 10:19:17 PM EST
    attorneys "elevated" to judges do not become law and order types.  

    Yes it's a mess (none / 0) (#51)
    by Rojas on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 08:13:37 PM EST
    But you've been givin' a real gift here. Jeralyn has invited us all down to where the steel is forged.
    Where those old words on parchment take form and function of what by design should be the rights of the individual to challenge the awesome power of the state.

    where the steel is forged.. (none / 0) (#60)
    by jondee on Fri Apr 20, 2012 at 11:33:43 AM EST
    I like that.

    mess.. (none / 0) (#61)
    by jondee on Fri Apr 20, 2012 at 11:57:18 AM EST
    as Tommy Lee Jones said in No Country, "if it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.."

    pleasre keep your comments on topic (none / 0) (#30)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 12:02:44 PM EST
    here to the new judge in the Zimmerman case. Thank you.

    "get moving on the bail motion" (none / 0) (#33)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 12:39:39 PM EST
    O'Mara won't challenge this judge, he's unlikely to win. And he needs to get moving on the bail motion, which even this Judge, in my view, is likely to grant.
    Isn't there a bail hearing set for tomorrow?

    That's true of Both Sides... (none / 0) (#37)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 02:06:38 PM EST
    ...even when the first reports came out making GZ look really bad, there were folks jumping in to defend him.  The NRA wasn't no time in assuming his innocence.

    Pretty much anyone that took a side used wild speculations to come to either conclusion.  Me included, but now I don't know what to think, when a new organization gets caught editing a tape to fit their mem, it hard to believe anything.

    wrong state (none / 0) (#48)
    by markw on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 05:53:59 PM EST
    Rackauckas is the DA in Orange County, California, not Orange Cuonty, Florida.

    Heh. (none / 0) (#50)
    by ks on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 06:24:26 PM EST
    Good catch.  

    I deleted the comment (none / 0) (#54)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 09:52:18 PM EST
    for its inaccurate information. Also, the subject here is the judge.

    OMG, I'm so sorry (none / 0) (#56)
    by SuzieTampa on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 11:27:08 PM EST
    that I made that stupid mistake.

    You may delete this, too, (none / 0) (#57)
    by SuzieTampa on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 11:30:22 PM EST
    but I thought the state's attorney in Orange County (um, Florida), would be relevant to this conversation because the judge's wife works for him.

    I think that's very relevant (none / 0) (#58)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Apr 20, 2012 at 02:57:10 AM EST
    but you named the wrong DA and linked to his office and I had to delete it. Sorry.

    Oooohhhh, the New Black Panthers! They are (none / 0) (#49)
    by Angel on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 05:57:07 PM EST
    sooooooo scary!!  They don't have two nickels to rub together so I doubt they are influencing anyone.  

    Actually Anne (none / 0) (#52)
    by Rojas on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 09:12:38 PM EST
    When historians look back on this period 5 or 10 decades down the road they will find the same level of ignorance between to Wilsonian Dems as the Clintonian Dems.

    The difference being that one applauded the KKK and the other cheered on the DEA with the latter being much more effective in the genocide they sought.

    Afraid to Criticize Judge (none / 0) (#53)
    by quackn on Thu Apr 19, 2012 at 09:38:25 PM EST
    "No lawyer in their right mind would publicly criticize a judge he or she has to appear before regularly."

    When I was a paralegal, a lawyer I worked with said he would not file a writ petition for failure to grant a jury trial as of right in a civil case because, "I have to practice before that judge."  Unethical, but the reality I'm afraid in many instances.