Search This Blog

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

How Not to Respect a Defendant's Right to a Speedy Trial

From Legal Cheek:

The incident, which occurred yesterday, sees Judge John Murphy berate public defender Andrew Weinstock in a highly unprofessional manner after he became annoyed at his refusal to waive his client’s right to a speedy trial. The judge then invites the lawyer to “go out back” to an area of the court with no cameras. The courtroom camera captures audio of shouting, swearing and what seems to be a scuffle, with several loud thuds.

The story was initially reported by Florida Today, which provides a video of the incident. The video includes the judge's shouting at the public defender, the judge and the public defender exiting the room, what sounds like an ensuing scuffle, and the applause (at 1:40) by the spectators in the courtroom upon the judge's return.

From the rest of the video, it looks like the defendant ended up asking for the speedy trial anyway, despite his lawyer's disappearance from the courtroom. The judge scheduled the trial for June 9, one week later. This is unsurprising, as the judge sounds out of breath after his return to the courtroom and was probably too exhausted to engage in a second (alleged) brawl over the defendant's Sixth Amendment rights.

Legal Cheek reports that the Public Defender's office will be reporting the incident to the Florida Bar.

No comments:

Post a Comment