Say goodbye to Charles County Circuit Court Judge Robert C. “Guantanamo Bob” C. Nalley. His days of shocking defendants in court are over.
The Maryland Court of Appeals has booted him off the bench, which took over a month after Nalley ordered Delvon King, of Waldorf to be electro-shocked to shut him up. King, who represented himself in a gun possession case, argued that he shouldn’t be tried in Charles County. But Nalley said the case King cited did not apply to his case, and then ordered a deputy sheriff to activate the device strapped to the defendant’s ankle. King went screaming down in pain.
The Maryland Court of Appeal’s decision to kick Nalley out of court comes after the Baltimore Post-Examiner broke the story Aug. 18 about a July incident. The court had videotaped the proceedings but has refused to turn over that tape to the Baltimore Post-Examiner, which is appealing that decision.
Nalley did not warn King in the moments before he ordered the officer to shock King, the transcript obtained by Baltimore Post-Examiner shows. The defendant was trying to cite a court case, and Nalley cut him off.
“Stop,” Nalley said, according to the transcript.
“… principles of common right and common reason are …” King said.
“Mr. Sheriff … ” Nalley said
“… null and void,” King continued.
“…do it,” Nalley ordered. “Use it.”
King was then medically checked and cleared to come back to represent himself during his trial. He told the Post-Examiner he was in no condition to continue the trial.
The real sad part of the story is that not one person spoke up about this incident, which must have sent shockwaves through the courthouse when it happened. Not one public defender, not one prosecutor, not one judge, not one deputy, bailiff, or citizen reported it. Officials were more worried about protecting themselves than reporting the wrong.
Only when Ruben Castaneda broke the story for the Baltimore Post-Examiner, did people break their silence, such as the Maryland Public Defender’s office calling for Nalley to step down.
Shame on those who remained silent and covered up for this judge. The next step is for prosecutors to review the case and determine if assault charges should be filed against the judge. But no one is doing that yet.
Maybe they are taking a page out of the Ray Rice case and will have to wait until the shocking video goes viral, if and when it is released.
And perhaps this case says more about the state of the media. It took a month to report it. That’s because with all the journalism cuts in the industry no one blankets the courts like they did in the 1990s.
Think about that: one month to get the story after the incident happened? No excuses for that, especially among the big newspapers and television stations. With no more journalism watchdogs, you have to wonder how many more injustices are being handed down?
And we have one professional nitpicking issue that got some of us a bit frustrated since we are trying to continue to promote our name while serving 1.2 million readers who follow a little bit of everything on this website.
Nitpick: When the media followed us, only The Washington Post credited the Post-Examiner for breaking the story. One of the Sun reporters explained that the Baltimore paper rarely credits other publications. Not that we are complaining here, but it used to be common professional courtesy.
Times have changed.
Timothy W. Maier is the founder of Baltimore Post-Examiner LLC, which runs the Baltimore and Los Angeles Post-Examiner websites. He started out writing music, fiction and poetry and then turned to news writing, where he spent the past three decades at news organizations in Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington, D.C. He was the managing editor at the Baltimore Examiner newspaper. He now spends time with his family, dog, guitar and riding his motorcycle across the country.