Back in July, George Zimmerman's attorneys moved, for the second time, to disqualify a judge presiding over the Zimmerman murder case. Earlier, Judge Jessica Recksiedler had been disqualified on the basis of a connection to persons interested in the case.
The second motion to disqualify had been based upon disparaging and prejudicial statements that had been made by Judge Kenneth R. Lester, Jr. about the defendant.
I'm no attorney and I don't know much about the standards for determining such matters; but Judge Lester's comments were so negative, and so far from any reasonable standard of impartiality, that I was and remain quite amazed that Judge Lester had the gall to dismiss the motion.
The rabble-rousers, anti-gunners and lefty media made a very big deal about Judge Lester's harsh comments towards Zimmerman. But I saw not one word suggesting his statements may have been improper. Such are the standards of journalism today.
Zimmerman's attorneys then did their job. They went over Lester's head to the appeals court, who found in favor of the motion to dismiss Lester.
As far as I know, this is a very unusual decision. Generally speaking, a demand for dismissal of more than one judge from a case is frowned upon quite heavily (and rightly so, as defendants should not be permitted to go "judge shopping"), and the standards for a repeat dismissal raise the bar against the defendant considerably. So it can be seen as a very significant victory for Zimmerman, and a scathing criticism of Judge Lester's impropriety.
This was reported in the press, but I saw nothing about it until this evening. I think the GOP convention coverage overshadowed it; but maybe I was just checking news feeds at the wrong moments.
Having been ordered to do so by the higher court, on 30 August 2012 (last Thursday) Judge Lester issued an order for his own recusal from the case.
A new judge will be assigned to the case.
Lester's order granting Motion to Disqualify
Original Motion to Disqualify
Florida's Eighteenth Judicial Circuit Court, with links to numerous documents in the case.
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