Delaware Convictions Tossed Over Judge's Conduct - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Delaware Convictions Tossed Over Judge's Conduct

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - The Delaware Supreme Court has overturned robbery-related convictions of a New Castle County man, citing repeated improper actions by the trial judge.
    
In a 4-1 ruling Tuesday, the justices overturned the convictions of Lamonte Butler, saying Superior Court Judge Diane Clarke Streett's actions subjected him to unconstitutional double jeopardy.
    
Court records show Streett tried to pressure attorneys to reach a plea deal so she wouldn't have to preside over a trial in which a jury already had been seated.
    
The justices said Streett improperly goaded the defense into seeking a mistrial and dismissal of the charges, and that a subsequent retrial violated Butler's constitutional protection against double jeopardy.
    
Chief Justice Leo Strine Jr. said Streett's conduct presented "aberrational circumstances" and differed markedly from what is expected of a Delaware judge.

 

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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