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Name: People v. Perkins
Case #: B157608
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 06/27/2003
Subsequent History: None
Summary

Appellant argued on appeal that he was deprived of his right to effective assistance of counsel and due process because the trial court “engaged in a systematic pattern of judicial hostility” which consisted of continual interference with defense witnesses, making disparaging comments about defense counsel, and erroneous exclusion of crucial defense evidence. The appellate court agreed, and reversed appellant’s convictions. Appellant did not forfeit his claim by failing to make objections. Four material instances of judicial misconduct prejudicially deprived appellant of his rights to due process and a fair trial. The trial court cross examined appellant during his testimony in a manner which undermined his credibility and defense. The questioning was argumentative and improper, and was undertaken to develop evidence favorable to the prosecution. The instances of misconduct were not cured by any admonition or instruction, and reversal was required.