6/4/12, "Trayvon Martin case's Judge Lester makes misstep about Zimmerman bond," Examiner.com, Radell Smith
"The Trayvon Martin case's Judge Lester has made a judicial misstep about the George Zimmerman bond revocation. And it's a misstep which only serves to increase the racial tensions in the country, unnecessarily.
Judge Lester contends that the Trayvon Martin shooter’s bond had to be revoked because the suspect lied during his first bond hearing about the state of his finances, and that his wife, Shellie, did too, telling the court that the two were practically broke, which led to a $150,000 bail instead of the $1 million sought by the prosecution. But the judge isn’t giving the public all the facts in this case.
The suspect’s attorney, Mark O’Mara, has pointed out that most of the donated money was in an independent trust that neither Zimmerman nor his lawyers could tap. So that means Shellie and George weren’t lying when they said they were broke, because they really didn’t have access to all of the $135,000 monies raised on the accused’s behalf.
And that’s the first misstep by Judge Lester: a rush to judgment in a case that, if no other, called for cooler heads to prevail.
It also shows that Judge Lester is not only insensitive to the racial issues that are boiling over in this case, but that he is for some reason fanning the flames by deviating from what would typically happen in such a case.
In typical situations like this, a judge would not immediately revoke a bond. Instead, he would confer with the counsel and the prosecutor first; taking the opportunity to learn why there appeared to be a miscommunication about assets. He might even have the accused present, in a fact-gathering hearing, before he made a decision over revocation. He definitely wouldn’t make it a media affair, as this judge has done.
And another judge wouldn’t jump the gun and assume that the defendant was trying to obtain a reduced bail amount deceitfully, as all judges have foreknowledge of a defendant’s income levels prior to these types of hearings. That is if they and their staff, along with the prosecution, did their homework, of course, which would have given him knowledge that what he was being told at the bond hearing was accurate or not.
Judge Lester had to know, in fact he did know—along with the rest of the world watching the national headlines--that Zimmerman had website donations. So he can’t claim now that he was ignorant of those funds, or blame the defendant because he or his staff didn't require some type of written documentation about the amount contained in the fund. That would just show ineptitude on his part, not the defendants.
“There was no deceit” in the miscommunication between the court and George, his attorney has publicly stated. And O’Mara hopes to make Judge Lester understand that when given a follow-up bond hearing. And he hopes his client will now have one since his bond has been revoked, and the accused once again sits in the Polk Correctional Facility.
The question for the public now is why did a judge in such a nationally prominent case fail to get a written disclosure signed by the defendant and his counsel regarding the amount in the defense fund at the first bond hearing? Was it ineptitude, or did someone else push him now to do it?
And why is the money an issue now, when the amount in the fund is no more than $200,000 altogether, which is nowhere near enough money to support a $1 million bond wanted by the prosecution anyway? Is this case now suffering from more than racial prejudice? And will that eventually lead to a mistrial?"
via Free Republic