Shocking Conduct By A Judge Leads To Anger Management
Apr. 29, 2016 (Mimesis Law) — It’s never a good idea to piss off a judge. They usually have the ability to do nasty things to people who annoy them, like take away your life, liberty, and property. If you anger certain judges, like former Charles County Circuit Court Judge Robert Nalley, the consequences can be absolutely shocking.
Nalley’s not entirely happy with the electrifying consequences of using a stun cuff on a pro se litigant in his old courtroom, as he now faces a year’s probation and anger management classes after ordering a bailiff to activate a stun cuff on Delvon King, a pro se defendant in Nalley’s court on charges of carrying a loaded handgun during a traffic stop.
According to court documents, Nalley’s moment of electric-fueled rage came when King refused to answer Nalley’s questions during jury selection. King, referred to as “Victim 1,” in official court documents, chose instead to read from a prepared statement questioning Nalley’s authority to preside over the trial. Nalley asked King to stop twice. When Delvon King refused to respect Nalley’s authority, the former judge told a courtroom deputy, “Do it. Use it.”
At this point, the courtroom bailiff exercised great care in moving King’s chair out of the way so he had a safe and comfortable place in which to collapse. “Do it. Use it,” must have carried with it a great sense of foreboding, because King finally decided to stop speaking once the bailiff cleared his chair.
That didn’t help much, as King fell hard after 50,000 volts from the stun cuff passed through his body. It didn’t matter such a shock could stop his heart. Sometimes you have to jolt a person into making sense, and Nalley was more than helpful in showing King how talking back to a man in a black robe could lead to riding the lighting.
Others weren’t so sympathetic to Nalley’s jolting attempt at silencing a loudmouthed defendant. Attorneys and jurists both often wish defendants would keep their mouths shut, but U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein took issue with Nalley’s whammy on Delvon King.
Nalley found himself on the wrong end of a civil rights prosecution, as the official position from the Government was disruptive defendants didn’t need the shock treatment unless they posed a danger to the court. Nalley didn’t just cross electrical wires, he’d crossed the line, and his plea deal reflects an understanding backtalk didn’t merit such stunning behavior.
Nalley’s plea agreement and sincere apology garnered leeway with the Court, since the original sentence carried jail time. Delvon King didn’t get such a sweet deal, as he left the original ordeal with two years in prison following an agreement to drop his motion for a new trial.
Hopefully, Nalley will learn from this experience and exercise some compassion in any future endeavors, and his time in anger management makes teaches him Tasers aren’t a really good way to get litigants in his courtroom to quiet down.