United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
74 F.3d 378 (2d Cir. 1996)
Joseph Filani (defendant) was arrested while going through customs and was charged with possession and intent to distribute heroin. At trial, Filani testified in his own defense. Filani testified that the briefcase the customs agent caught him with was not his. Often during Filani’s testimony, the trial court judge interrupted the questioning attorney and asked questions directly to Filani. Most of these interruptions portrayed skepticism toward Filani’s testimony, and the judge was at times argumentative with Filani. The trial judge also intervened during questioning of other witnesses, but only to further cast doubt on Filani’s testimony. The jury convicted Filani. He appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Cardamone, J.)
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