Attorneys Ashleigh and John Merchant have filed a motion for the retrial of Tomdrick Cromer, a client convicted of armed robbery and sentenced to life in prison without parole. The Merchants recently stumbled across a courtroom security recording showing the presiding judge of Cromer's case, Judge Reuben Green, discussing the case and trial strategy at the time of the trial with the prosecution without the presence of defense attorneys.
The recording provides compelling evidence suggesting Judge Green's bias towards the prosecution. Following a conversation believed to be about Cromer's case, Green can be heard commenting "Well hopefully this jury does the right thing. Had some unusual cases lately. Unusual juries." At one point in the video, we see Judge Green appear to be entertained by the sight of two prosecutors playing the game "rock, paper, scissors" to determine who will handle a potential plea deal, indicating a close bond between the judge and the prosecution.
11 Alive Coverage
The evidence in this video is the basis for the Merchants' appeal, as it shows Judge Green acting as an arm of the prosecution rather than a neutral third party. Judges and prosecutors are prohibited from discussing a case without the presence of a defendant or their defense attorney in order to ensure the accused is given a fair trial.
As a result of the Merchants' discovery of this recording, several other Cobb County attorneys have been prompted to examine similar courtroom recordings to see what may have been said about their clients. Attorney Ashleigh Merchant commented on the video, saying "You want a judge that is not interested in the outcome. You want a judge that is interested in being fair."
Skilled Appeals Attorney in Georgia
If you are looking to appeal a criminal conviction in pursuit of a retrial or case dismissal, a knowledgeable Cobb County appeals lawyer from The Merchant Law Firm, P.C., can represent your interests in court and fight for justice on your behalf. Having been included on
Georgia Super Lawyers® Rising Stars℠ list for three consecutive years, our firm is equipped with the skills and knowledge to maximize your chances of securing a positive outcome for your situation.
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