August 16, 2005

Bad case of black robe syndrome in NC

In North Carolina, at least, the law solemnly declares:

“It is fundamental to due process that every defendant be tried 'before an impartial judge and an unprejudiced jury in an atmosphere of judicial calm.'”

Posting from that fine state, I Respectfully Dissent presents "This court session was brought to you by the letters O and K", featuring a judge openly and repeatedly dogging a criminal defense lawyer during trial, usually in the hearing of the jury. Note the judge's truly mental reaction every time the defense lawyer would say the word "okay." The trial transcript shows that the prosecutor said O.K. 279 times while defense counsel said it 122 times.

For all that public pummelage, the lawyer's client at least got a new trial. For those sins and others, the judge got censured.