You know there’s trouble when the local editorial board cites the Florida Code of Judicial Conduct, and calls for a JQC investigation into Liz Scherer’s treatment of public defenders.

In a blistering editorial, the Sun Sentinel is also advocating for FACDL to file a JQC complaint against Scherer if the defense organization doesn’t get a “satisfactory” response from their letter to Jack Tuter, with the newspaper essentially joining the chorus asking for the Parkland judge’s reassignment out of the criminal division.

Additionally, there’s a reference to earlier corrective actions taken by Tuter against Scherer regarding non-Cruz related complaints by the Public Defender’s Office (PDO), believed to be about comments she made concerning a Jamaican developed religion that JAABLOG happened to witness, and other issues that we did not.

From the editorial:

“… (T)he Office of Public Defender had a legal, moral and professional responsibility to defend Cruz in every ethical way. That is what they did. That is what all good lawyers do.

It is similar to the responsibility of doctors, nurses, first responders and educators toward everyone in their care — notorious or infamous, rich or poor, personable or repugnant. Lawyers in private practice can be selective about their clients. Public defenders don’t have that luxury

The American justice system depends upon the constitutional right to a fair trial and the competent assistance of counsel. The guiltier that someone seems to be, the more urgent are their constitutional rights. Otherwise, our courts would be no better than Russia’s

Responding to complaints from the defense bar, Tuter praised all parties for their professionalism during the Cruz trial.

But Scherer’s was not entirely praiseworthy. She missed the opportunity — and the duty — to remind the critics that Weekes and his staff were as essential to the trial as the prosecution and the judge were … “

Now, going forward, all eyes are on Tuter to see if he will take personal responsibility and reassign Scherer, or wait until the PDO’s mass recusal motions, rumored to be filed in the upcoming week, are ruled on by Scherer, and potentially, the Fourth District Court of Appeal …


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