Thursday, January 13, 2011

Arizona judges disqualified from shooting trial - Channel NewsAsia

Arizona judges disqualified from shooting trial - Channel NewsAsia

WASHINGTON: All federal judges in the US state of Arizona were disqualified Wednesday from presiding in the trial of the gunman charged with killing six including one of their colleagues in Tucson.

Due to a risk that they would not be impartial, a judge from California was named to take charge of the trial of Jared Loughner, which will nevertheless be held in Arizona, judicial officials said.

The issue arose because a fellow federal judge, John Roll, was among those killed in the attack Saturday at a political event held by US Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who was seriously wounded.

"Based upon the circumstances occurring on January 8, 2011, in Tucson and the initiation of proceedings in conjunction with them, the impartiality of the District and Magistrate Judges in the District of Arizona might reasonably be questioned," federal judge Roslyn Silver wrote.

"It is therefore determined (...) all District and Magistrate Judges in the District of Arizona must be disqualified from presiding in this case and all related matter," Silver added.

The Arizona Republic said the trial was assigned to a San Diego-based federal judge, Larry Burns.A separate statement by the US Ninth Circuit court in San Francisco said that Burns was named "after judges of the Arizona district court recused themselves from hearing the case."

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