Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. Out, Florida Appeals Court Orders New Judge for Zimmerman Murder Trial of Trayvon Martin
Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester Jr., is out …
An interesting situation just occurred in the George Zimmerman murder trial. A Florida appeals court granted Zimmerman’s attorneys request and ordered that a new judge be seated to preside over the Zimmerman murder trial in the death of Trayvon Mrtin. The 5th District Court of Appeal determined that Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. could not be impartial due to past actions and statements with regards to defendant George Zimmerman. Judge Lester wrote a scathing decision with regards to Zimmerman’s second bond hearing where Lester made the prejudicial comment that Zimmerman, “manipulating the system for his own benefit.” Mark O’Mara, the defense attorney for George Zimmerman previously filed a 17 page motion disqualifying Judge Lester from this case. O’Mara asserted that the judge and court “departed from its role as an impartial, objective minister of justice” and should therefore be removed from the case. It would seem that the appeals court has agreed. Lester is out.
A Florida appeals court has granted George Zimmerman’s request for a new judge to oversee his trial for second-degree murder in the Feb. 26 shooting death of Trayvon Martin, the Orlando Sentinel is reporting.
A three-judge panel of the 5th District Court of Appeal found that Circuit Judge Kenneth Lester Jr. cast doubt on his impartiality when he wrote in his July 5 order setting $1 million bail that Zimmerman showed “blatant disregard for the judicial system” and that he was “manipulating the system for his own benefit.”
I have to admit this decision came as a surprise, although it was the correct one. The Zimmerman-Martin case has been more political than it has been judicial since the outset. However, made this will be the sign that the murder trial will now be based on evidence and the rule of law rather than emotions, misrepresentations, media bias and those with an agenda fanning the flames of racism.