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Like a diligent batter chipping away at an ace pitcher, George Zimmerman’s legal team keeps disqualifying judges from their client’s high-profile murder trial in the Trayvon Martin shooting. The latest foul ball tipped into the bleachers: trial judge Kenneth Lester . . .

On Wednesday a three-judge appeals court panel found that Judge Lester had created an appearance of bias through a series of rulings and statements in Zimmerman’s case, which gave the defendant a reasonable fear that he could not receive a fair hearing from the judge.

Judge Lester’s questionable acts included accusing the defendant of perjury and of ‘flouting the system’ during a bond hearing, and releasing the statement of a woman who said that Zimmerman had touched her sexually while they were both children.

The lawyer in me has to ask: what’s the relevancy of this inflammatory and decades-old allegation to the fair determination of facts in Zimmerman’s murder trial? 

The obvious answer: none at all.

It’s just an obvious effort by Lester to destroy Zimmerman’s reputation and credibility in the eyes of potential jurors before the trial even begins. It’s usually the prosecution’s job to destroy the credibility of the defendant, but it sure helps when the judge seems to be pinch-hitting for the prosecutors’ team.

“Although many of the allegations in Zimmerman’s motion, standing alone, do not meet the legal sufficiency test, and while this is admittedly a close call, upon careful review we find that the allegations, taken together, meet the threshold test of legal sufficiency,”

Judge Lester’s replacement hasn’t been named. I’m starting to wonder if Seminole County will run out of judges before Zimmerman’s case goes to trial. Lester is the third judge to bow (or be forced) out of the case since charges were initially filed.

The first judge, Jessica Recksiedler, recused herself because of an imputed conflict of interest involving her attorney husband. John D. Galluzzo, the next judge in rotation, declined the case because of prior personal and business relationships with Zimmerman’s lead attorney Mark O’Mara.

We’ll have to wait and see if this change in the lineup brings Zimmerman a better chance of taking the pennant, but it seems that almost any judge with a pulse and a conscience will be better for him than Judge Lester was.

And is it just me, or is the mainstream media still calling Zimmerman ‘white?’

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      • Tends to favor the prosecution might be directly related to the fact that 99% of the people before the court are actually guilty. The defense knows it, the prosecution knows it, and the judge knows it, but there’s those protocols that must be followed.

        Again, courts have little to no interest in truth or justice. Courts are NOT fair and don’t even feign interest in even the slightest appearance of fairness.

  1. B-b-b-b-but…racism! First raping little girls, now shooting teenagers!

    Nazis! You’re all nazis!

  2. Judges don’t like to embarrass other judges, and getting kicked off a case for reasons of bias is a major embarrassment.

    When the appellate panel said “this is a close case,” it was making excuses. If the panel actually felt that it was a close case, the trial judge never would have been forced to recuse himself. This really is a stunning development.

    • The police protect the police
      The prosecution protect prosecution
      The judges protect judges
      The politicians protect politicians and their high dollar donors

      This new judge is said to be very pro-prosecution and anti defendant and lawyer……who the eff protects the regular Joe law abiding citizen?

      I am thinking that statue of Mrs Justice with the blindfold and balance beam….yeah, Mrs Justice is peeking and she has a pinky tilting the scales.

      When having a fair shot is no better than a coin toss, do we really have the best justice system in the world? Torts are a mess and state with unlimited amount of time and money can basically mess up your life and you are powerless and even if you win, you are broke both mentally and fiscally.

      That you found this to be a “stunning development” tells me this is rare and the system in generally effed.

      • do we really have the best justice system in the world?

        Yes, we do — but that’s faint praise.

        • It’s kind of like how a democratically elected representative republic is the worst form of government ever designed by man… Except for all the others…

    • Also, attorneys prefer not to ask that judges be removed, again because, judges tend to stick together.

    • Are you saying that since Zimmerman is a “white Hispanic”, Obama is a “white African-American?” Geez, the number of “Asian whites” in Los Angeles is innumerable, then.

      • Dirk was obviously be sarcastic, and most people in America use the one drop rule. Ignoring that, if you simply look at them, no one would consider either to be white. It is simply the media and blacks bashing on whitey as usual.

  3. as a layman who has only been involved in one trial situation i’ve seen a lot of what i would class as “biased” actions on the part of the state’s people and the media in this case. i don’t know how gz can expect to get a fair trial under these conditions.

  4. It still shocks me that this case actually went to trial, or is on the way to trial. It’s a clear violation of Florida state law, and the State’s Attorney made the right call in not charging Zimmerman.

    Enough evidence was available to make a clear and obvious case for self-defense. The SYG law was thrown around, but once Zimmerman was assaulted, self defense took precedence.

    It is a sad world indeed, when race-baiters, the media, and threats of violence are enough to convince a government to disregard the letter and intent of the law.

    If Trayvon Martin had been white, Asian, or Hispanic, this case would not be going to trial.

  5. I’ve got a feeling that this case will drag itself till past election day. Once the elections are over it will have exhausted its usefulness to the media, no one will report further on it. The whole thing gets tossed out and has a silent demise.

    • Hopefully it drags out well past Inaugeration…… least hopefully for us. If a major break comes after Obama loses but before mid Jan, then we may have the flashpoint BO is looking for, for his Reichstag Fire.

    • If Obama isnt re-elected, you can bet it will still be front page news, especially if it gets tossed out.

  6. I’m glad for Zimmerman’s sake this happened, and I’m really surprised it had to go to the appellate level. I would have thought that Lester would recuse himself on the initial filing. But I guess he felt he wasn’t doing anything wrong, and if you feel that way, having someone else point it out doesn’t really change your mind.

  7. Zimmerman is “white” because that fits the MSM’s narrative. Underprivileged yout wit’ a dream, evil white oppressor, we need poorly defined “social justice” and so on.

    The reality: Zimmerman is a man who tried to make multiculturalism work…and failed. He mentored black kids and volunteered in the community. Weirdly La Raza hasn’t rallied behind him.

    Hopefully a competent judge and jury will settle this soon. Give the man his trial and be done with it.

  8. I wonder if it’s even possible for Zimmerman to get a fair trial after all the media speculation.

  9. I was once involved in a civil lawsuit involving a patent dispute. Even though it was a federal civil case and not a local criminal one, I was left with the opinion that neither are about truth, justice, or even right or wrong. The most and only thing that is important to the court are its protocols. The law, justice, and fairness aren’t even in the same stratosphere.

    We like to pat ourselves on the back about our ‘system’ as being the best in the world. Maybe it would be better if we spent less time talking about how great we are and more time just being great instead.

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