Role of the judge: threatening a public defender?

A judicial review panel recommended a four-month suspension for Judge John C. Murphy of Brevard County, who was caught on video last year berating and threatening to assault a public defender.

Source: Florida: Judge Faces Suspension Over Threat to Public Defender – NYTimes.com

What’s pretty shocking about this little tale is … they gave this guy a four-month suspension??? How about a criminal sentence, removal from the bench and disbarment?

Even in Florida, there must be a professional code of conduct and ethics. I mean, mustn’t there be?

Oh hey, this story is much worse than that abstract up top there, so here’s the entire AP thing:

A judicial review panel recommended a four-month suspension for Judge John C. Murphy of Brevard County, who was caught on video last year berating and threatening to assault a public defender. The six-member Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission, in findings released Wednesday, unanimously found Judge Murphy guilty of violating various judicial canons, including being “dignified and courteous to litigants, jurors, witnesses, lawyers, and others.” The panel also recommended a fine of up to $50,000, a public reprimand and Judge Murphy’s continued participation in a mental health therapy program. He is accused of hitting a former assistant public defender, Andrew Weinstock, outside a courtroom last June after they exchanged words over whether Mr. Weinstock’s client could have a speedy trial. The Florida Supreme Court will decide on the final punishment. It often adopts the panel’s recommendations. In video and audio recorded inside the courtroom, Judge Murphy is heard expressing frustration at Mr. Weinstock after he announced his intention not to waive the speedy trial right of his client. “You know, if I had a rock, I would throw it at you right now,” the judge said at one point. (AP)

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