America is now on a verdict watch as the jury began deliberating the fate of George Zimmerman Friday afternoon.
Trial watchers who remember the carnival-like atmosphere of Judge Lance Ito’s courtroom in the OJ Simpson murder trial can’t help but compare the smooth, efficient and professional running of George Zimmerman trial Judge Debra Nelson’s courtroom.
Though commended by many for her no-nonsense, brisk demeanor in moving the trial along for the sake of the sequestered jurors, she has also received her share of criticism from those who believe she has been unduly harsh in her rulings against Zimmerman and his defense team.
For many, it was no surprise to learn Friday that Nelson is a “lifelong Democrat,” although former Gov. Jeb Bush appointed her, The Smoking Gun reported. Many Democrats and the liberal media came out against Zimmerman early on for using a gun, reportedly in self defense, in the incident that left 17 year-old Trayvon Martin dead.
The unusual incident that occurred between Nelson, Zimmerman, and his attorney Don West outside the presence of the jury on Wednesday prompted both Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren and nationally known radio host Mark Levin to say Nelson was “out of line.”
Before the defense had rested its case, (and that is the key to the unusual circumstances behind the following incident), Nelson took the opportunity to remind Zimmerman he had “the absolute right to remain silent,” but then proceeded to ask Zimmerman if he planned to testify.
An apoplectic West objected her questions, but was overruled by an increasingly angry Nelson who continued to ask Zimmerman questions.
“The defense had not rested, had not nearly rested. And what in the world was she badgering him for and not talking to the lawyer? Way out of line,” Van Susteren said on her blog.
“How obnoxious and pathetic is this judge? Way out of line! Way out of line!” Mark Levin declared on his show Thursday, according to the sound clip from the Daily Rushbo.
One reporter from WFTV 9 News tweeted:
But the most harsh criticism making its way around the Internet Friday came from a former North Carolina state senate candidate, Richard Rivette.
According to a quote from Rivette on Infowars:
This judge is an idiot. I spent five years investigating high profile capital cases defending people from the death penalty, and worked for the Federal judiciary as an independent investigator on other cases. No judge ever inquires as to whether a defendant will testify until the entire defense case is presented. If the defense rests and does not call the defendant then the judge knows there will be no testimony. If the defense calls the defendant then that’s when the judge finds out. They have to get through the entire case first. To see if it is valid after prosecution cross-examines their witnesses and experts as to whether a defendant SHOULD testify, which is decided in private not in public, and NOT on the record. By doing this, the judge has undermined a portion of Zimmerman’s credibility. He looks like he is waffling and this is normal judge/defendant questioning, which it is NOT.
Watch the courtroom incident here via NRO:
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