Judge Faulted For Ordering Offender To Remove Sunglasses


A New Jersey judge’s apparent obsession with a sex offender’s wearing of sunglasses in court is ground for a new hearing on whether his involuntary civil commitment should continue, says an appellate court ruling reported by the New Jersey Law Journal. The judge’s repeated insistence that the man remove his glasses despite his and a doctor’s assertions that they were a medical necessity puts her fairness into question, the panel said.

Judge Serena Perretti repeatedly told the offender to remove the glasses, and each time he told her he had a medical condition that required he wear them. Perretti didn’t buy it, stating that “use of black glasses in courtrooms are universally considered to be threatening gestures.” Appellate judges said the trial judge’s attitude was suspect.

Link: http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1202424258559

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