The Obama-nominated federal judge, Amy Berman Jackson, has denied a motion filed by Roger Stone to recuse herself for bias. She basically claimed that she wasn’t biased, so she’s not removing herself from the case.
The issues surrounding the trial and sentencing of Roger Stone seem more fitting for the pages of a fantastic dime-store novel: A hostile and activist judge approves a jury foreperson who is known to hate and despise the accused, the guilty verdict is returned and the accused is sentenced despite the fact that countless others who’ve been proven guilty of worse crimes were allowed to walk away without being charged.
U.S. Judge Amy Berman Jackson argued Sunday evening that there is no legal basis as to why she should recuse herself from the case after Stone filed a motion on Friday requesting that she be removed from the case for alleged bias.
Stone, who also asked for a retrial, raised concerns about the judge’s partiality, pointing out that Jackson praised the jurors in his trial for their “integrity.” The judge, however, shredded Stone’s argument in her six-page filing, saying that her “general comment that ‘jurors’ served with integrity” did not “purport to, and did not address” Stone’s new trial request.
“There is no rule and no case law that would justify the recusal of a judge for bias simply because he or she says something about an issue on the docket, on the record, at some point before a reply has been filed, or before a hearing — which may or may not be required in the Court’s discretion — has concluded,” she wrote.
She added, “If parties could move to disqualify every judge who furrows his brow at one side or the other before ruling, the entire court system would come to a standstill.”
Jackson further defended herself by noting that she insured fairness throughout the case, including when Stone himself shared a threatening post about her on Instagram.
“[The court] granted important evidentiary motions in his favor; it proposed utilizing a written questionnaire to ensure that the parties could receive more information than is usually available for jury selection; it struck 58 potential jurors for cause based on the defendant’s motions or on its own motion; and it repeatedly resolved bond issues in his favor, even after he took to social media to intimidate the Court, after he violated conditions imposed by the Court, after he was convicted at trial, and after he was sentenced to a term of incarceration,” she wrote.
Stone’s request came after Jackson sentenced him to over 40 months in prison for witness tampering and lying to Congress.
Whether he will be given a new trial seems entirely out of range now, which was no doubt Jackson’s intention by scheduling the sentencing and immediately suspending its execution.