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It's not normal for a judge to pull a gun in court, but leave it to Georgia to produce one that does. Judge David Barrett of the Enotah Judicial Circuit brandished a pistol mid-hearing last week while a witness was being questioned on the stand.
The act was not one of self-defense, but instead an attempt to make "a poor rhetorical point." When a sexual assault victim stopped cooperating with her attorney, he told her she was "killing her case."
He then offered her his gun, adding, "You might as well shoot your lawyer."
District Attorney Jeff Langely was in the room, and asked Judge David Barrett to put down his gun. He then reported the incident to the Judicial Qualifications Commission, which the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports has launched an official investigation into the event.
Though the judge pulled a gun in court for non-violent purposes, his actions still violated the law. Georgia judges may carry a concealed weapon on the bench, explains the paper, but like everyone else, they may not brandish a it without justification.
Sadly, sarcasm does not count.
Judge David Barrett is likely aware of this fact, which might be why he has decided to retire from the bench as of March 1. While this move will likely prevent further action from the judicial commission, it probably won't stop the state bar. Barrett is a licensed attorney, and if the State Bar of Georgia really wants to, it can punish the judge for pulling a gun in court.