Keep up with the latest developments and legal issues in the telecommunications and emerging technology sectors, with exclusive access to a comprehensive collection of telecommunications law news,...
March 2 — The U.S. Supreme Court March 2 declined to hear an appeal arguing that a criminal defendant's 14th Amendment right to a fair trial was violated because the trial court judge was Facebook friends with a lead prosecution witness.
Defendant Shanterrica Madden asked Dec. 15 for Supreme Court review of a March 2014 decision from the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals that affirmed the trial court judge's decision not to recuse himself from her criminal case. Madden was on trial for the 2011 murder of her college roommate.
The defendant argued the trial court judge should have recused himself because of his “substantial” connections to Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), where she and the victim attended college. She cited in part the fact that the judge had 205 Facebook friends who had connections to MTSU, including the women's basketball coach who was one of the prosecution's witnesses.
The Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that the trial court judge didn't abuse his discretion when he declined to recuse himself. The court said that the Tennessee Supreme Court has held that state judicial ethics don't require judges “to remain isolated from other members of the bar and from the community.” It added, however, that state judges should treat “with a great deal of care” their online friendships, just as they would real-life friendships.
It concluded, “Simply establishing that a trial judge is acquainted with a lawyer or other person connected to a case does not, without more, suffice to establish an abuse of discretion in the denial of a recusal motion.” The defendant was required to show “some sort of a connection shown between the judge's relationship with a lawyer, party, or witness and some action taken in the case,” which she failed to do in this case.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)