To guarantee that trials and other proceedings remain impartial, judges sometimes must step aside, or "recuse" themselves, and let another judge take over. Judges are required to perform judicial duties "impartially, competently and diligently" & should disqualify themselves when they cannot perform their duties in an impartial and diligent way. Whenever their impartiality might reasonably be questioned!
Clearly, Judge Scarpellino's reaction to several penned letters from various State Legislators pleading the highest animal cruelty charges be brought against this individual were an obvious nuisance to him, and was openly annoyed in court, from the enormous response of animal advocates and Legislators.
The case against Alexander Bernard, the New Haven man accused of stabbing his pit bull mix 29 times because no one in his family "liked her," was continued again Tuesday to Sept. 6.
Both the judge hearing the case, Judge Philip Scarpellino, and Bernard's public defender, Thomas Conroy, were absent Tuesday, which led to the continuance.
Judge Kathleen McNamara presided over Tuesday's proceedings. She asked Bernard if he was willing to give up ownership of Princess, and Bernard agreed, paving the way for the dog to be placed in a new home.
Princess has been at the North Haven Animal Hospital on Washington Avenue since the May 25 incident, where she has recovered from her injuries.
The case also prompted several state legislators to pen a letter to Scarpellino, asking him to impose serious punishment on Bernard if he were to be found guilty of the animal cruelty charges.
Scarpellino was not happy with the letter and said so in court, which has prompted a group of animal advocates to issue a plea to the judge to recuse himself from the case. They feel that because of the letter and the judge's reaction, he cannot be impartial.