Close X

Two Recent Appellate Reversals

Ex Parte Communication Between Judge and Prosecutors

Posted by Benjamin Goldberg | Feb 26, 2016 | 0 Comments

An article in today's Daily Report, Georgia's legal organ, describes an upcoming motion for new trial involving ex parte communications between the judge and the prosecutors in the judge's courtroom. The appellate attorney in the case did a fantastic job acquiring the audio recording from the trial, which captured the communications. Among other inappropriate comments made by the trial judge, the most atrocious statement was the judge saying to the prosecutors "hopefully this jury does the right thing. Had some unusual cases lately. Unusual juries." Clearly, the judge was expressing his desire that the jury convict the defendant on trial. And when they did convict, the judge sentenced the defendant to life without parole.

Judges are forbidden from communicating with attorneys from a pending matter unless opposing counsel is present, unless it is regarding a scheduling issue or some other informal matter. However, what makes this case especially egregious is the very clear expression by the judge that he has no interest in even pretending to be an impartial jurist. This is absolutely terrifying. Could this judge ever be trusted in any other criminal matter to render a fair and just ruling? I think not. 

The appellate attorney who is handling this case did an amazing job in uncovering this ridiculousness. Although the pending motion for new trial requests the recusal of the judge in question, there should surely be more serious repercussions awaiting a judge who can so easily disregard the most important quality we expect our judges to have. 

About the Author

Benjamin Goldberg

Ben has known since college that he wanted to become a criminal defense attorney. At Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, Ben majored in criminal justice with a focus on pre-law. This helped prepare him for law school, when he returned home to Atlanta, Georgia and attended Georgia State University. While in law school, Ben gained valuable experience during externships with the Georgia Innocence Project, the Federal Defender Program and the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council.

Comments

There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

"Without a Doubt the Best"

"I would highly recommend Ben. There were not any surprises or extra costs. He was very clear on what to expect. Even more impressive was what happened before I went to court and while in court, everything happened exactly as Ben had told me it would. When I was in the court room and Ben needed to make things happen, he was so articulate I felt as though I had an entire team of lawyers."

"Truly an attorney with not just intellect but heart!"

"When Mr. Goldberg came into my life, he went against all odds, believed in my innocence, fought for my justice, and supported me as my lawyer and my friend. I personally believe that when Mr. Goldberg chose to practice law, his goal was not money nor prestige, but was only the well-being of the client. More specifically, he values the lives of the individuals he represents and provides them with the best defense to see to it that justice is served."