Friday, June 21, 2013
A prosecutor who engaged in extensive ex parte contacts with the judge presiding over a death penalty trial has been suspended or two years by the Florida Supreme Court.
The prosecutor's office agreed to a new trial of the criminal case as a result.
The prosecutor and the (now former) judge had more than 900 cell phone conversations and 400 text messages over a five-month period. While the communications were of a personal nature, they took place while the judge was deciding motions and sentence and were not disclosed to defense counsel.
The court rejected as insufficient the one-year suspension proposed by a referee.
The Sun-Sentinel opines that this decision does "not bode well" for the judge, who also is subject to a proposed suspension of one year.
Additional information about the charges against the prosecutor and the judge from the Sun-Sentinel is linked here. (Mike Frisch)