Try to wrap your head around this: The judge in George Zimmerman's case can't disagree with George Zimmerman's lawyers' claim that he's not impartial, because then he'd be expressing an opinion and he really wouldn't be impartial. So when Judge Kenneth Lester denied Zimmerman's request that he step down, he had to accept all of Zimmerman's team's accusations as true, then still deny his request on the grounds that they were insufficient. "The court is not permitted to deny the allegations supporting the [defense's] motion as untrue, reject them as unfounded, or comment upon them at all. To do so establishes independent grounds for disqualification," Lester wrote. Instead, he has to assume they're true, but he still denied the request on the grounds that it was "legally insufficient."
Zimmerman's team had filed a motion requesting a new judge after Lester raised Zimmerman's bail on July 5, arguing that Lester "makes gratuitous, disparaging remarks about Zimmerman's character," and has "created a reasonable fear in Mr. Zimmerman that this court is biased against him." Lester wrote in his decision raising Zimmerman's bail to $1 million that Zimmerman "had flaunted the system" (he meant flouted), and that "it appears to this court that the defendant is manipulating the system for his own benefit." Zimmerman faces a second-degree murder charge for shooting 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February, which he said was an act of self-defense.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.