From the Miami Herald article (click here):
According to the public defenders’ motion, the judge’s comments disparaging the mentally ill happened on June 6. It started when Reichel, the assistant public defender, lamented that so many clients suffer from mental illness.
“Judge Barket replied ‘I don’t buy it,’ or words to that effect,” according to a court motion. “He then stated that both his father and his girlfriend had come to this country with nothing and look at them now. He stated that his girlfriend was a refugee here and now she is a judge. He then discussed his father and how he had created his life from nothing.”
Reichel replied that “many public defender clients are not as fortunate and are unable to do that, and the Judge’s girlfriend and father are exceptions, rather than the rule.”
Barket then repeated his assertions, according to a motion by Assistant Public Defender Natahly Seoane-Soler.
“In this case, this court’s comments denigrating patients who suffer from mental illness more than suggests an unfavorable opinion of them,” she wrote.
Judge Barket, no legal scholar he from what we can see, previously made news when he granted a defense attorney's motion for JOA after the prosecution rested...and then told the defense to call their first witness. Most courtroom observers walked away from the incident believing that Hizzoner had no idea what it meant to grant a JOA. The Herald article on the Judge's ill conceived venture into the rules of criminal procedure is here.
Back to these nutty statements. One wonders what Judge Steve Leifman, who has spent his career educating lawyers and the bench about mental illness in criminal courts, thinks of his colleague 's view of mental illness.
In an "only in Miami" component to this story, the Judge made his comments about mental illness while sharing some donuts with the PDs during an in-chambers snack. "doNUTS"....get it?
BTW the Washington Post has decided the story has legs. The post article is here.
Yes folks, in 2019, Miami-Dade County has it's own Archie Bunker on the bench. Come see him and watch the antics.
*Not to be confused with Gen Anthony "Nuts" McAuliffe, who led the 101st Airborne in WWII. When surrounded by the Germans at Bastogne, McAuliffe replied "Nuts" to the German commander's request that he surrender.