We’re giving this guy our “Judge of the Day” award, ’cause there’s no telling what he might do if he didn’t get it. From the Florida Times-Union:
A Jacksonville judge pulled a handgun in his courtroom after a spectator attacked a defendant.
The fracas occurred Friday after a crime victim’s father hurdled a railing and punched the handcuffed defendant.
Circuit Judge John Merrett then handed his gun to a clerk for safekeeping when he realized bailiffs had subdued the attacker. He met with the man in his chambers and later ordered him released without bail even though he was charged with a felony and two misdemeanors.
Judge Merrett is awesome. When he ran for office, he pledged that he would “do whatever was necessary to give defendants and the public speedy trials.” And that includes whipping out a pistol in open court!
Of course, a whiny PD complained about Judge Merrett exercising his Second Amendment rights:
Most judges in Duval County have concealed weapons permits and have gone through firearms training even if they don’t carry a gun. Merrett, a former assistant state attorney, said he has had extensive firearms training.
Duval County Public Defender Bill White said the incident was scary enough for lawyers in the courtroom that he plans to talk to the chief judge about disarming the judges.
Thankfully, this effort probably won’t get much traction:
The chief judge said he encourages all the judges to receive firearms training and obtain concealed weapons permits.
Let’s hope this trend of judges packing heat under their robes continues. There are some encouraging signs. We hear that a certain elderly female judge, in the Southern District of New York, has a fondness for firearms (and carries a concealed weapon). Fantastic!
P.S. We can’t say we’re entirely surprised by this story. Doesn’t Judge Merrett look like a bearded version of Scott Savol, the former American Idol contestant who was charged with misdemeanor assault?
Judge Pulls Pistol in Court [Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville)]
Merrett takes lead as new judge in the 4th circuit [Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville)]