In a bizarre twist that appears ironic and insane, George Zimmerman’s attorneys request a new judge again stating that they cannot get a fair hearing or trial due to George Zimmerman’s lies to the judge. It took audacity to file the motion which states, in part, “Mr. Zimmerman fears that the court has already decided that he is not worthy of belief regardless of the type of proceeding or the corroborating evidence that would support his testimony.” Zimmerman has harmed his own credibility by failing to disclose that he had money for bail and concocting a scheme with his wife to hide the money from the court. Instead of taking responsibility for the harm that he caused by being untruthful, he wants to remove the judge from the case.
Mark O’Mara’s attorney states in the motion: “A reason why Mr. Zimmerman feels he cannot get a fair trial is that the Court spent a lot time and a lot of words crafting an order that was harsh and morally indignant in tone.” So by the defense’s analogy, Zimmerman lies but the judge is wrong for having a “morally indignant” tone. The defense team should have chosen another word other than “morals” to characterize the judge’s tone. If anyone has issues with morals, it’s George Zimmerman and not the judge.
So Zimmerman lies to the judge, conceals evidence and now requests a new judge for fear that the judge will see him for what he is— a liar. He perpetrated a lie on the judicial system and not on the judge personally. By now, every judge will know that Zimmerman lied to Judge Kenneth Lester, Jr. So it will not be much different with a new judge. By the defense filing the motion, Judge Lester may bend over backwards to show that he is not biased against Zimmerman. But, I doubt if he or any other judge will forget that Zimmerman lied. And Zimmerman’s credibility is crucial to his case on a Stand Your Ground hearing or at trial. Once damaged or destroyed, it’s difficult to resurrect credibility. So Zimmerman’s teams takes it out on the judge.
It would be unlikely that Judge Lester will grant the motion. Judge Lester will undoubtedly tell Zimmerman’s defense team that he is able to be fair and impartial, even to George Zimmerman. The prosecution will file a response to the motion for the judge to recuse himself in the coming week. And this is not the first time that Zimmerman has filed a motion to remove a judge. The first one was filed in April and the original judge was removed due to a possible conflict which her husband has with CNN.
According to Zimmerman’s defense, all a defendant has to do to get a new judge is to lie to the presiding judge. So Zimmerman lies and then says the judge is now somehow at fault. If Judge Lester is biased, he would have ordered George Zimmerman held without bail—as he had enough reason to do so. He did not set a bail beyond the originally requested $1 million by the prosecutors. He could have set a punitive bail of $5 million, if he wanted to strike back at Zimmerman. Instead, a bail of $1 million was set, allowing the defendant to leave jail a second time.
At this point, the defense is setting up possible arguments for an appeal down the road. In the process, they are making a mockery of the system. Zimmerman lies and the judge should recuse himself on account of Zimmerman’s lies. Meanwhile Shellie Zimmerman, the other half of the lying Zimmerman duo has her arraignment on her perjury charge set for July 31. Shellie Zimmerman was the co-conspirator to the lies surrounding the bail hearing. She will legally be advised of the charges against her and the maximum penalty. A trial date may be set. One can only wonder what shenanigans her case will involve. If George Zimmerman’s case is any comparison, we need to hold on to our seats to see what’s in store.
Washington, DC based Debbie Hines is a former prosecutor and founder of LegalSpeaks, a progressive blog on women and race in law and politics. As a legal and political commentator she has appeared in national and local media including the Michael Eric Dyson Show, NBC, ABC and CBS affiliates, RT TV, CBC- Canadian TV, NPR, XM Sirius radio, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today, Black Enterprise among others. She also writes for the Huffington Post.