Thursday, May 24, 2012
The Minnesota Supreme Court has reversed a criminal conviction because the presiding trial judge had been retained by the prosecuting attorney as a expert witness in an unrelated civil case.
The judge's retention was disclosed to the defendant during the course of the trial. The defendant sought recusal but the judge denied his motion.
The court held that the evidence of guilt was sufficient. However, a "reasonable examiner" would question the judge's impartiality under the circumstances. (Mike Frisch)