In 2015, Judge Fred Schott of Seminole County Florida shocked the local prosecutor when he angrily threw out the jury’s guilty verdict in a DWI case after the prosecutor refused to charge the arresting officer with perjury.
“This whole case is fishy,” said Schott, who pounded the bench with his hand. “You know what? … I’m rescinding the sentence. I’m granting the JOA.”
The Orlando Sentinel reported that On Nov. 15, 2014, Sandford Officer Michael Wagner pulled over 46-year-old Licette Gonzalez after allegedly witnessing her sipping from a can of beer while driving, according to the police report.
Wagner later testified that he took Gonzalez to jail, charging her with a DWI, but did not issue a breathalyzer test because no one qualified to issue the test was available at the time of her arrest.
However, on the DUI citation form, Wagner still checked a box which stated that Gonzalez’s blood or breath alcohol level exceeded 0.08, the legal limit in Florida state. As a result, Gonzalez’s driver’s license was immediately suspended for six months.
Two months later Gonzales was ticketed for driving with a suspended license.
That case was the last straw for Judge Schott who also asked Miers to drop the suspended license case.
“Are you going to nolle pros [drop] that case, or am I going to get mad at you today?” Schott asked.
However, Assistant State Attorney Diana Miers, who didn’t want to admit that they prosecuted an innocent woman, decided to spit on the judges robe instead of doing the right thing.
“Perhaps you can get mad at me, your honor,” Miers replied.
At first, Schott said that he was going to dismiss the case, but later changed his mind and stated that he wanted a full hearing to investigate possible criminal maleficence on the part of the crooked cop.
“I want you to take him up for perjury,” the judge said. ‘He lied. He lied on a sworn citation. … He broke the law.”
However, Miers argued “That’s not true,” Implying that Wagner’s testimony, in which he claimed he checked the wrong box on the DWI form by accident, was truthful.
Judges like Schott are rarities in the broken criminal justice system. A Judge that actually gives a fuck about the accused and the consequences of dishonest and possibly illegal actions taken by cops, who make up any story to gain a conviction, is someone who should be commended and celebrated in our society.
However, that’s just not the reality in America. In fact, Judge Schott was reprimanded by a higher judge for his actions. He was also suspended from overseeing criminal cases and relegated to only handling civil disputes.
This case is just another example of why criminal justice reform should be at right the top of any progressive politician’s agenda. Too many Americans suffer because of the careless and dishonest cops who have no fear of being called out on their lies.
DWI Case featured image via YouTube.