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Judge Pulls Gun (in courtroom) After Attack On Defendant

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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 01:08 PM
Original message
Judge Pulls Gun (in courtroom) After Attack On Defendant

Judge Says He Never Put Finger On Trigger

POSTED: 7:49 am EDT March 27, 2007

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A Circuit Court judge pulled a handgun in his courtroom after a man jumped a railing and punched a handcuffed defendant accused of molesting his son.

Bailiffs eventually took control of the attacker during Friday's outburst, and Circuit Judge John Merrett handed his gun to a clerk for safekeeping. The judge met with the father in his chambers and later ordered him released without bail, even though he was charged with a felony and two misdemeanors.

The man is not being named to protect the identity of his son.

Merrett said Monday he never put his finger on the trigger or pointed the gun at anyone.

Because of the way his courtroom is configured, the judge said he couldn't see the fight below his bench. He said he pulled the gun as a precaution.

"I didn't know if he was going after me or the bailiffs or the defendant," the judge said.

more . . .
http://www.news4jax.com/news/11401426/detail.html
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 01:10 PM
Response to Original message
1. Judges have a right to defend themselves
I don't see any problem with this.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. I do
:scared:
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bryant69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #5
16. Why?
Just out of curiosity?

If you are opposed to handguns for personal protection, I'd understand that, although I might not agree with you.

Bryant
Check it out --> http://politicalcomment.blogspot.com
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #16
29. I am generally opposed to guns
As far as a courtroom, I think it sets a bad tone when the judge is packing heat. I mean, isn't that what the bailiff is for?
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-28-07 10:37 AM
Response to Reply #29
34. Sometimes the bailiff may need a backup
Since the judge is also an officer of the court, why not him or her?
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #5
19. Be careful.
It's a trap.
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #5
26. I'm also curious
what scares you about it so much?
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Horse with no Name Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 01:11 PM
Response to Original message
2. I guess when he says "Order in the Court"....he REALLLLY means it n/t
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. Sure is a good weird news day
:rofl:
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 01:12 PM
Response to Original message
3. The only screwed up thing there was giving up his gun.

:shrug:
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jmg257 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 01:14 PM
Response to Original message
4. Good for the judge, and an extra cudos to the father who punched the scumbag who molested his son! n
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ComerPerro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. you really believe that? you're sick.
one, its a person accused of molesting his son. And two, he has no right to punch a man who is in custody and may have even been handcuffed.

In case you didn't know, it is never acceptable to assault a defendant in a courtroom.
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 01:18 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. Uh, NO. EVERYONE in the country is entitled to due process and
the presumption of innocence. If you are not willing to extend that basic right to others, you do not deserve it for yourself.

Now, after conviction I might be willing to say let the family mete out the punishment................
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progdonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 01:34 PM
Response to Reply #4
11. so, I guess Guantanamo brings a smile to your face, eh?
You call the defendant a "scumbag," but he hasn't yet been convicted of the molestation--you just assume he is, because he's been accused, and we all know that no one's ever been wrongfully accused of committing a crime he didn't commit, right?

We're supposed to have the rule of law in this country, not vigilante justice or punishing people without due process.
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krispos42 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 01:52 PM
Response to Reply #11
17. And what crimes has BushCo been convicted of?
Libby for perjury I think is the sum total.

Doesn't stop me from calling him a murdering tyrant if I want to.

I'm neither judge nor jury, law enforcement nor district attorney, so I have the right to hyperbole, to assume, and to insult people at my leisure.
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yardwork Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #17
24. Calling someone a murdering tyrant is different from assaulting them in court
I doubt many folks here at DU would agree that it is ok to punch out a defendant in the middle of a courtroom.
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progdonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #17
25. that's hardly the problem with the original comment...
Calling the guy a scumbag was merely incidental to the larger issue of applauding an assault on someone who has only been accused of a crime.

My criticism of his referring to the defendant as a scumbag--and thereby excusing the assault--was, as I plainly said, just like referring to the prisoners at Guantanamo--who haven't been convicted of anything--as "terrorists" and therefore themselves deserving of being assaulted.

But that wasn't the larger issue. Had he just referred to the defendant as "that guy," his comment would still have been way over the line, as the problem was the cheering of an assault on someone who's still innocent as far as the law and (I would hope) all people who respect the law are concerned.

You can refer to Bush and his cronies with all the expletives you want, and I won't stop you or criticize you, but if you then use Bush's being a "murdering tyrant" as a basis for excusing or even cheering his assassination, for instance, or some other extra-judicial punishment, then you've crossed the line, and you're just like the Freepers who say it's okay to torture people at Guantanamo because they're "terrorists."
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Richard Steele Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #4
18. Hey, why are we wasting time having trials at all, right?
Saves a lot of time when we just assume every
defendant is guilty, and yell "kudos" at lynchings.

If you're yelling "Kudos" at this, I can only GUESS
how much you must love George "bring 'em on" B*sh...
cuz it's ALOT.

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yardwork Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #4
23. Welcome to DU! On this site, most of us still believe in due process.
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Bunny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 01:19 PM
Response to Original message
9. After that nut shot up the courtroom in Atlanta and killed the judge,
the court reporter and the deputy, I see no reason why any judge should be a sitting duck.
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. You forget where he got the gun.
He grabbed the gun of a sheriff's deputy. If the deputy hadn't had a gun in the courtroom, the judge and two others wouldn't have been killed. A judge--not nearly as capable of handling a gun as a deputy--bringing a weapon into the courtroom increases the odds that the bad guy will get ahold of it, and, as guns often do, turn a fistfight into a fatality. Or a multiple fatality.

No laws were broken here, so the judge shouldn't be in trouble, but the issue should be reviewed.
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Lance_Boyle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. 'A judge--not nearly as capable of handling a gun as a deputy'
Huh? :shrug:

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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #14
21. huh?
:shrug: what's your issue with that statement?
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benEzra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 02:44 PM
Response to Reply #21
27. Well...it's an assumption without much rational basis?
The sheriff's deputy wasn't SWAT, he was a deputy.

Your average carry-licensed civilian probably has as much shooting experience as your average non-SWAT deputy sheriff. Yes, the deputy is allowed to use automatic weapons and whatnot that non-LEO's can't get hold of without jumping through a LOT of hoops, but as far as pistol skills go, it's a wash. A lot of judges (and electricians, and technical writers, and schoolteachers) could probably get out on an IDPA pistol course and clean an average deputy's clock. Not saying that sheriff's deputies are incompetent by any means, but the converse assumption (that licensed, trained non-LEO's are incompetent) is no more rational.

Also, if the judge's weapon is concealed under her/his robes, and the judge is behind the bench as usual, getting the judge's gun would be a LOT harder than getting a deputy's.
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 10:15 PM
Response to Reply #27
31. Didn't say the judge was incompetent, just that a sheriff's deputy
in one of the most populous counties in the country is going to have more training and more experience than the average judge. Whether that applies in this case, of course, is pure speculation--for all I know this judge may have served in Special Forces, but in general, an experienced LEO is going to have more expertise and a greater sense of caution than the average civilian. I know enough LEOs, judges, and licensed civilians (not to mention members of Special Forces) to feel quite comfortable with that statement.

If we're talking some Barney Fife from some county in east Texas, certainly that's a different subject.

As for the judge having the weapon concealed under his robes--he didn't, did he? He drew it. He would have trouble actually using it under his robes. Once it is drawn, it is in plain view, and in a melee, it can wind up in the wrong hands. If he plans to never let anyone see it, he may as well leave it at home.
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Lance_Boyle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #21
28. Pretty much what benezra said
Kinda like "a lawyer can't use a hose anywhere near as properly as a fire fighter can."

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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 10:18 PM
Response to Reply #28
32. So call a lawyer the next time your house catches fire.
I can match your inane statements with my own, if that's what you want. I posted something I took the time to think out, you posted a "huh?" in response. I'm sorry if you think that says something. I asked you to elaborate, you didn't. You don't earn points in a discussion for sarcastic banalities, unless you are a Freeper. Since neither of us are, try to match at least my level of committment to the discussion. You may exceed it and change my mind, for all you know. But you won't change anything with a "huh?".
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Bunny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 01:50 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. No, I didn't "forget" where he got the gun.
Do you feel that no deputy should have a gun?
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 02:07 PM
Response to Reply #15
20. I didn't say what I feel one way or the other.
I just pointed out that the gun in the courtroom in Atlanta caused, rather than preventing, the death of three people.
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-28-07 10:39 AM
Response to Reply #12
35. "A judge--not nearly as capable of handling a gun as a deputy"
Bad assumption, jobycom. I've seen a San Diego Superior Court judge score very high in a pistol competition. The fact that someone wears a uniform and a badge does not automatically make him or her a skilled defensive shooter.
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Gruenemann Donating Member (753 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 01:25 PM
Response to Original message
10. Roy Bean lives! eom
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NorthernSpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 01:40 PM
Response to Original message
13. how about the other people attending the trial -- are they allowed to bring guns...
... into the courtroom?

And if not, why not?


:think:
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Jacobin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 02:09 PM
Response to Original message
22. Several judges I know keep handguns on the bench
If you are a domestic law judge, you take your life in your hands. People go nuts over divorce/custody/property division issues and very often threaten and sometimes assault the judges and lawyers involved.
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Solo_in_MD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 04:50 PM
Response to Reply #22
30. Lets not forget the 1970 killing of a judge in Marin County that
involved Angela Davis
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walldude Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-27-07 10:26 PM
Response to Original message
33. So the judge is a wussy, what else is new
Judge knows damn well everyone is screened for weapons when they enter a courtroom. Judge knows damn well the only way for that guy to have a weapon is to steal it from a bailiff or deputy, yet he is ready to shoot someone who might throw a punch at him. This reminds me of the girl in Texas I just read about who got a possible 7 years for shoving a hall moniter. I feel sorry for people who live in this constant state of fear.
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