August 30, 2011

Colorado Court of Appeals - Contempt Reversal for Defense Lawyer in People v. Jones


People v. Jones - re: Sommer Spector            Contempt
To put it succinctly, the trial judge in People v. Jones did not like the aggressive, thorough, and zealous defense of Mr. Jones by Sommer Spector (where the Court of Appeals agreed with Ms. Spector and reversed Mr. Jones’ conviction on 404(b) here: http://simslaw.blogspot.com/2011/08/colorado-court-of-appeals-criminal-law_7675.html) The trial judge went from one incident to a whole host of others that allegedly occurred in front of him and other judges – like a spurned spouse losing an argument. To prove his vindictiveness, the trial judge would not recuse himself from the contempt proceedings against Ms. Spector, refused to let her speak, conducted a kangaroo contempt proceeding, and prior to laying down the sentence on Ms. Spector, the trial judge filed a grievance against her. Further, from what the Court of Appeals highlighted, the trial judge’s behavior is quite unbecoming of someone we must address as ‘Your Honor’. Justifiably, the Court of Appeals slapped down the trial judge. After eviscerating every possible reason the trial judge had for holding Ms. Spector in contempt, the Court of Appeals felt it necessary to state, "To be clear, we do not question the trial judge's integrity. Nor do we question the veracity of his statements denying any ill will toward Ms. Spector. The record here does not clearly show personal enmity on the trial judge's part toward Ms. Spector. But under the circumstances here, assignment of any contempt charge to another judge is necessary to assure that the proceeding both comports with and appears to comport with notions of fundamental fairness deeply rooted in our system of justice.” Hahahaha…

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