|Jack McMahon, lunatic|
Banach should take a moment out of her busy day to read the Sixth Amendment. It gives every criminal defendant the right to an attorney. Even if that attorney is from out of town. But Banach had a hissy fit a few months ago when Fitzgerald's lawyer, Jack McMahon, was unable to appear at some bullshit status conference. He happened to be in the middle of another trial. He was unwilling to drop everything there just to pay homage to her. Banach said she wasn't "going to put up with much more" and that Fitzgerald could find a good local lawyer who would just have to "walk up the street."
This parochial disdain for lawyers from outside of the County is a common problem among many local judges. It's unfortunate to see in Banach, but is pretty evident. In addition to her complaint about his absence, she refused to let jurors listen to a potion of video that McMahon believed to include a disparaging reference to Fitzgerald's girlfriend. And she also stated he was "acting like a lunatic" when he dared complain about her refusal to instruct the jury on the justification defense.
It's hard enough to get an acquittal when the prosecution brings all its resources to bear on someone accused of a crime. Banach, who was a prosecutor between 1987 and 2003, seems to have forgotten that she has a different role now.