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Friday, July 30, 2010

Ind. Courts - More on "7th Circuit Removes Chief District Judge Mid-Trial After Evidence Dispute with US Attorney"

Updating this ILB entry from yesterday, a new ABA Journal blog entry is headed "7th Circuit Cites ‘Unreasonable Fury’ of Chief District Judge as Reason for His Mid-Trial Removal." A quote:

Putting an end to speculation about why a chief federal district judge was suddenly removed from an ongoing criminal trial in Chicago, the federal appeals court that axed him earlier this week explained today in a written opinion that it acted because of the jurist's "unreasonable fury" against prosecutors.

Responding to a petition for a writ of mandamus by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, a three-judge appeals panel not only agreed with the government that excluded fingerprint evidence should have been admitted in the drug prosecution but took Chief U.S. District Judge James Holderman off the case in a Tuesday order posted by Main Justice.

“The transcript of the district judge’s remarks concerning the evidentiary issue reveals a degree of anger and hostility toward the government that is in excess of any provocation that we can find in the record,” the panel states in today's explanatory opinion authored by Circuit Judge Richard Posner.

I'm looking for the opinion - the ABA link is bad. Here it is: U.S. v. James Holderman.

Here is the Chicago Tribune story. A quote:

Holderman repeatedly accused the government’s lawyers of lying. “He said, for example: ‘I don’t believe you when you say just about anything anymore because I know that you will lie to a court any time it helps you. I know that. I saw you do it. I know you will do that. You have proven that to me beyond a reasonable doubt.'" according to the opinion.

The 7th Circuit also denied the defendant’s petition for a rehearing of its Tuesday order.

The Herrera case has been reassigned to U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer. The trial is set to resume Monday, according to a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 30, 2010 07:22 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions