Judge Dredd as played by Sylvester Stallone in the 1995 film of the same name, is a “street judge”, empowered to arrest, convict, sentence, and summarily execute criminals. It’s not surprising when he does so. Maryland does not afford the same latitude to judges of the Circuit Court for Charles County. Surprisingly, that did not stop then-Judge Robert C. Nalley from ordering a sheriff’s deputy to taze a man who simply annoyed the court with his speech.
Delvon King was before The Honorable Judge Nalley at the time for jury selection in a case where he was representing himself against Maryland. King was ordered to stop speaking, and three to five seconds later, the judge handed down the sentence of tazing..
When ordered by Nalley to deliver a painful electric shock to a person who was no threat, the deputy did so without visible reservation. This rebuttal technique to unwelcome legal arguments is not part of the ABA-approved curriculum for law schools, but Nalley was so quick with his command one would think he’s done it a dozen times before. If you’re not terribly put off by the sound of a man being tortured briefly in a courtroom in the United States of America, you can see for yourself:
This all went down in 2014. Judge Nalley was charged federally with violating the rights of the man he ordered to be tazed. Subsequent to a plea he was ordered to take anger management classes and serve a year of probation. It’s back in the news because Mr. King has decided to seek further justice through our civil law system, filed suit against Mr. Nalley this week for over five million dollars:
Defendant Nalley had the duty to protect each and every person’s constitutional rights who came into his courtroom but despite this duty, Defendant Nalley intentionally and with malice violated Mr. King’s constitutional rights, including but not limited to Mr. King’s constitutional right to due process, when he ordered the deputy to electrocute Mr. King. Defendant Nalley’s actions clearly exceed the scope of judicial conduct.
Hopefully, Mr. King will recover considerable damages in the case. Then the only ones left to pity will be the taxpayers who didn’t vote for Nalley because they will be stuck with the bill.
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