The Stevens Trial: A Judge Too Far?

I didn't follow the corruption trial of ex-Sen. Ted Stevens very closely, and I have no idea whether the prosecutors in the case engaged in willful misconduct. But as a matter of principle, it would seem logical and appropriate for the prosecutors to receive the benefit of the doubt they allegedly didn't give to Stevens. That's an idea that the judge presiding over the case, Emmet Sullivan, should know by wrote. But his actions -- actually, his words -- suggest that he's already made up his mind. Make no mistake: Sullivan's view here is very prejudicial and could easily influence whatever jury ultimately hears the case against the prosecutors, if such a case ever goes to trial. ''In 25 years on the bench, I've never seen anything approaching the mishandling and misconduct that I've seen in this case," Sullivan said. Well that's pretty clear. He thinks they are guilty. But then, remembering himself perhaps, he said this: "I have not prejudged these attorneys for their culpability, and I hope the record will find no intentional obstruction of justice."  For the sake of justice, maybe Sullivan ought to keep his anger -- valid as it might be -- to himself.