The Brevard County Judge who had a complete meltdown in court last week
and attacked a defense lawyer is now on paid leave. While no arrests were
made, and the defense lawyer declined to press charges, it appears that
Judge Murphy is not out of the woods yet. Seeking to restore some degree
of dignity to the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit where Judge Murphy sits,
Chief Judge John M. Harris announced that while Murphy is on paid leave,
he has agreed to take anger management classes and get "treatment."
Harris stated, "As chief judge, I want to assure the public that
yesterday's incident involving a county court judge and an assistant
public defender is not something that will ever be tolerated in the Eighteenth
Judicial Circuit. This isolated incident in no way reflects the typical
manner that courtrooms in Brevard and Seminole Counties are managed by
the hardworking and conscientious judges in this circuit. People come
to court seeking justice and a peaceful resolution to their conflicts
and they have a right to expect a much higher standard of behavior from
our judges than was exhibited in court yesterday."
Judge Murphy applied last year to be nominated to Florida's Fifth District
Court of Appeal but was passed up. News sources have obtained his application.
Ironically, in it he wrote, "Judicial temperament includes patience,
open-mindedness, courtesy, tact, firmness, understanding, compassion,
and humility. I work very hard to ensure that I do not become impatient."
Given last week's melee with the defense lawyer, unless the Governor
of Florida is looking to appoint a serious judicial bad-ass, I highly
doubt this goal is going to ever work out for him. On the other hand,
he might be quite effective as an appellate court judge, in light of the
fact that the
Florida Supreme Court justices would be terrified to reverse him lest he drive up to Tallahassee
and kick their asses. He would probably have the lowest reversal rate
of any intermediate court of appeal judge in the history of Florida jurisprudence.
Let's hope for everyone's sake that his "treatment"
works and that fight with the defense lawyer was his last. At this point,
he will be very lucky to return to the bench.