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Why Trump is likely to have more leeway for outbursts in criminal trials

By 37ci3 Jan18,2024

A federal judge threatened to kick him Donald Trump He walked out of the civil court on Wednesday. Judges handling his criminal cases this year may be less inclined to issue similar ultimatums.

The problem facing the judges Trump’s four criminal cases legal experts say is the need to balance potential explosions against special legal rights for criminal defendants.

Criminal defendants have a constitutional right to be present in court proceedings—a right that is not so absolute in civil cases. Although judges can turn on defendants if their behavior is deemed bad enough during a criminal case, they may be wary of entering that territory.

“In a criminal case, the accused has the right to be present at all proceedings, and I’ve had cases where my conviction was overturned because the judge put a guy in another room where he could watch everything but not contact his lawyer,” Denny said. Cevallos, attorney and legal analyst for NBC News. “So when a judge dismisses a defendant in any criminal case, the judge has to consider some very important constitutional issues with the possibility that the case may be overturned.”

E. Jean Carroll’s civil suit heated up On Wednesday, a judge threatened to throw Trump out of the courtroom for making comments during witness testimony that Carroll’s attorney said the jury could hear.

Although judges can still rule that criminal defendants have waived their right to be in the courtroom if they are angry, it is considered misconduct enough to warrant dismissal.

“How many times is the judge going to give them a warning before they get them out of the courtroom? Again, it’s up to the judge,” said criminal defense attorney Sam Rabin, who worked for Janet Reno when she was a lawyer in Florida. He was the attorney general of the United States during the Clinton administration. “It depends on his sensitivity to other issues, like a person’s right to be in a trial. And in the case of Donald Trump, you know, perceptions that he’s going to be treated unfairly.”

Acts that could lead to a judge barring a defendant include threats, physical violence and verbal abuse, which are the most common, said criminal defense attorney Dean Johnson, a legal analyst for NBC Bay Area.

Verbal abuse can mean “interrupting witnesses, interrupting witnesses, making disparaging remarks about the judge, his staff, the jury,” Johnson said. “If it’s extreme enough and repeated enough, then the judge or the civilian , or in a criminal case, it can exclude the accused in the end”.

Judges should warn criminal defendants before banning them from the courtroom and explain the consequences of violating court orders, NBC News legal analyst Glenn Kirschner said.

“If you admonish the defendant or the defendant once and he does exactly what the judge tells him not to do, in my opinion and experience, the appellate courts will uphold the judge’s decision to remove the defendant or the defendant from the courtroom.” Kirshner said.

On January 6, 2021, some judges had to control the noise of the defendants during the trials related to the riots that took place in the US Capitol. In at least three cases witnessed by NBC News reporters, defendants in the Capitol riots repeatedly interrupted or disrespected judges during hearings. In all three cases, the defendants had mental health problems or diagnoses of conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder and bipolar disorder.

Brandon Fellows, the Jan. 6 rioter who was tried last year, was held in contempt and sentenced to five months in prison by Trump-appointed Judge Trevor McFadden after Retirees called McFadden’s trial a “kangaroo court.” the jury. There were comrades told the jury that he is on the autism spectrum and has attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

If defendants are experiencing true mental disorders, judges can lock them up and make sure they get help. Heather Shaner, a court-appointed attorney for multiple defendants on Jan. 6, said if someone is behaving badly without a mental health diagnosis, judges “will tolerate it once or twice and then hold them in contempt of court.” .

“You’re dealing with people with egos and they have courtrooms to run,” Shaner said. “These are strong people, and I don’t think they put up with much —.”

Shaner predicted that Trump will be “released a lot more” because it is an unusual situation for a former president who is seeking another term in the White House and is leading the polls for his party’s nomination.

Trump could face criminal charges before several different judges this year depends on the circumstances related to allegations of election interference, falsification of business records and mishandling of classified documents. He pleaded not guilty to each case.

One of the first criminal tests of Trump’s courtroom behavior could come in March before U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan, who is overseeing the federal election meddling case in Washington. The planning of that case was postponed while the decision on the appeal was made.

“I think Chutkan is brilliant and I think he’s going to be level-headed and try to deal with it through his lawyer and hopefully it will work,” Shaner said. “Because push comes to shove, he’s going to have to treat it like any other defendant because it’s his responsibility.”

The defendants’ ramblings may not play well with juries either, legal experts say.

“For most jurors, this is their first and perhaps only time in a courtroom. They expect and understand that the judge is in charge. Typically, if someone consistently disobeys the judge’s orders—for example, if the defendant acts out—it’s usually a case of ‘By Jury don’t sit well,” said NBC News legal analyst and former U.S. attorney Chuck Rosenberg. “I don’t think Mr. Trump, or any criminal defendant, is going to help himself with a series of staged explosions.”

But Trump has often claimed to be the victim of witch hunts, tried to use legal issues as political fodder, sent out fundraising offers after legal rulings, and hurled insults at judges and prosecutors on social media and at political rallies. His last year the best day ever The online fundraiser comes as he is being sued in New York as part of a hush-hush case.

For these reasons, according to some experts, Trump may decide that the dispute with the judge helps him politically.

“You can do the ‘deep state kicked me out of the courtroom,'” Kirchner said, explaining why he thinks Trump wants to be kicked out of the courtroom.

Trump’s exchange with the judge on Wednesday appeared to be a departure from his usual courtroom behavior in the election meddling case. He was a little more reserved during his previous appearances on the matter. However, these statements did not include the statement of the woman who accused him of rape.

When a panel of three federal appeals judges heard oral arguments this month on whether presidential immunity should protect Trump After being tried for trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election, Trump mostly listened quietly, occasionally making notes to his lawyer on a yellow legal pad. He was most excited when his lawyer told him he beat President Joe Biden on the 2024 ballot, prompting him to nod his head vehemently.

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By 37ci3

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