Awkward Reunion: Judge Recognizes High School Friend . . . During His Bond Hearing

Screen Shot 2015-07-05 at 6.01.23 PMIn an obviously awkward and (for one) emotional reunion, Judge Mindy Glazer recognized a former high school acquaintance standing before her awaiting his bond decision. Arthur Booth is accused of burglary and broke into tears after Glazer identified him. Glazer clearly did not view the prior relationship (which was clearly long ended) a basis for recusal.

Glazer said “I’m sorry to see you here. I always wondered what happened to you.” She then continued as Booth began to sob and said “This was the nicest kid in middle school, he was the best kid in middle school. I used to play football with him, all the kids, and look what has happened.” Booth could only keep repeating “Oh my goodness” as she added “I am so sorry to see you there. Mr. Booth, I hope you are able to change your ways, good luck to you. What’s sad is how old we’ve become. Good luck to you sir, I hope you are able to come out of this ok and just lead a lawful life.”

He will first have to get over a serious criminal case. He was seen driving a gold Honda Accord that was identified as involved in a home burglary. When an officer tried to stop the car, Booth allegedly took off — running stop signs and committing two accidents before crashing the car. He then fled on foot before being apprehended.

Glazer set Booth’s bond at $43,000.

It must have been a particularly crushing moment for Booth as it would anyone in his position. That is apparent from the film as he found himself not only being judged but judged by a school friend.

13 thoughts on “Awkward Reunion: Judge Recognizes High School Friend . . . During His Bond Hearing”

  1. Paul – I figured she’d have to recuse herself from the actual trial, anyway, now that she’s recognized him.

  2. “This is not pleasant to you [Arthur]–and it is very far from pleasant to me; but I must, I will,–I will tell you truths while I can, satisfied with proving myself your friend by very faithful council, and trusting that you will some time or other do me greater justice than you can do now.” ~Jane Austen

  3. Did she decide on the bail amount before recognizing him, so recusal was not necessary? She should certainly recuse herself from actually presiding over his trial.

    I hope this is a turning point for this man. Is he going to have a moment of catharsis and completely turn his life around? Or will he hide from the shame with continued bad decisions because he thinks he is already lost?

    I hope this is the first day of turning over a new leaf for this man, and that the next chapter in his life is that of a happy, healthy, productive, law abiding citizen.

    It would be nice if she visited with him in prison after he’s sentenced and encouraged him.

    1. Karen – if she visits him in jail she will have to recuse herself.

  4. It was just a bond hearing. Not a big deal unless she does something unusual like set a very high bond or no bond or releases him on his own recognizance.

  5. In small communities this happens all the time. Everybody in town knows you and you know them.

  6. I see no need for a recusal @ this juncture. But, based on the judge’s comments, it would be improper for her to preside @ a trial and sentencing.

  7. It appeared to me in the video that the judge just came to the realization that this man might be a former classmate friend from 30 + years ago. Hence the question from the bench, “Did you go to…?
    The defendant obviously did not recall her either until that moment.
    It was truly touching and sad.

  8. florida rule of judicial administration §2.330 (disqualification of trial judges) allows any party (state or defendant) to move to disqualify. the motion must be in writing, and *specifically* state facts and reasons why the judge cannot give a fair trial or hearing because of pre-existing prejudice or bias. that was not done here.
    in this simple preliminary proceeding to set bail (it was *not* a trial), the judge recognized the defendant as being a classmate. if that is the only ground to seek recusal, the motion will be denied.

  9. Just because the judge knows a defendant is not grounds for recusal. Where I live in a rural area it’s impossible for the judges not to know just about everybody in the county. If a judge from outside had to be brought in anytime someone knew a litigant the local courts simply could not operate.

  10. Why didn’t the judge withdraw from the case and ask a colleague to try the case just in case a compromised situation about impartiality was created?

    Isn’t it better to be safe than sorry?

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