Wait… the Paul Bergrin trial wasn’t the only trial that Judge William J. Martini was removed from last week?
Judge Martini was having a really bad Friday last week because he was removed from not one, but two cases on that same day. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals also removed him from U.S. v. Kennedy, which is now in its sentencing phase, reports the New Jersey Ledger.
Last Friday, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals removed Judge Martini from the criminal trial of notorious former criminal attorney Paul Bergrin. (We brought you info on that story previously.)
But two cases on one day, on the grounds of judicial bias? That’s saying something.
While the Bergrin case was a lot more shocking, the Third Circuit had harsher words for Judge Martini in the Kennedy opinion.
The case involved heroin and gun-possession charges. The three-judge panel accused Judge Martini of undermining the professionalism of the prosecutor, questioning the integrity of the government, and accusing the government of prosecuting in bad faith.
In addition to having strong words for Judge Martini, the panel of the Third Circuit also overruled him on the sentencing of the defendant in a second drug and gun-possession charge.
(Viewed alone, Friday’s two rulings make Judge Martini look like he has a lenient stance on crimes and sentencing.)
Was that why the Third Circuit Court of Appeals chose to rule in both cases on the same day? It might have been deliberate or it may just have been pure coincidence. But the message is coming from the appellate bench loud and clear— the Third Circuit does not tolerate judicial bias.
As David Lat of Above the Law put it, Judge Martini could probably use a drink right now.
- Judge Removed in Paul Bergrin Trial, New Judge to be Assigned (FindLaw’s Third Circuit Blog)
- Search Third Circuit Court of Appeals Cases (FindLaw’s CaseLaw)
- Third Circuit Court of Appeals (US Courts)