Montgomery judge asked to recuse over opinionated Facebook posts

Published: May. 15, 2017 at 8:30 PM CDT|Updated: May. 16, 2017 at 10:17 AM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The attorneys for Montgomery Police Department Officer Aaron Smith asked Montgomery Circuit Judge Greg Griffin to recuse in Smith's murder case due to posts on Facebook.

Attorneys Mickey McDermott and Roianne Conner filed a motion Monday requesting Griffin's recusal in the high-profile murder case.

Smith is charged with murder the 2016 fatal shooting of Gregory Gunn.

The defense attorneys' motion points to two Facebook posts made by Griffin not long after Smith was charged with murder. The judge discussed being stopped by Montgomery police officers during a morning walk and a subsequent meeting to discuss the incident with the top brass at MPD.

"This honorable Court was so enraged by this incident that it wrote several comments pertaining to the same on a social media site proclaiming its disgust with the Montgomery Police Department due to its alleged unfair and unjust stop of your honor while simply walking through his own neighborhood," the motion stated.

The motion goes on to state Griffin may be forced to make a decision regarding the actual stop of Greg Gunn, making a comparison to how Griffin was stopped by Montgomery police officers.

McDermott cites the second Cannon of Judicial Ethics in the motion, stating:

A. A judge should respect and comply with the law and should conduct himself at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.

B. A judge should at all times maintain the decorum and temperance befitting his office and should avoid conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice which brings the judicial office into disrepute

C. A judge should not allow his family, social, political, or the relationships to influence his judicial conduct or judgment. He should not lend the prestige of his office to advance the private interest of others; nor should he convey or permit others to convey the impression that they are in a special position to influence him. Hey should not testify voluntarily as a character witness at any hearing before nay court, or judicial or governmental commission.

The motion states Griffin has been subjected to and spoke out against the same actions in that will weigh heavily on the determination of Mr. Smith's guilt or innocence.

This motion will likely be taken up at a hearing in the case scheduled for this week.

The Montgomery County District Attorney's Office had no comment.

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