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Judge’s ‘Incessant’ Questions Cited in Reversal

Posted Sep 18, 2007 9:31 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A New York appeals court has cited a judge’s excessive questions as a reason for overturning a felony conviction for drug possession.

The court has criticized Judge Arlene Silverman for excessive questions in at least nine other decisions, but this is the first time her interruptions have been used as ground for reversal, the New York Law Journal reports.

"While we recognize that the dynamics of a criminal trial may result in some intervention by the trial judge in the examination of witnesses, the cumulative effect of the court's extraordinarily incessant interference in this case was to obstruct counsel's effort to present a defense for his client," the court said in its opinion.

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