‘Tyrannical’ judge booted from bench after berating gravely ill defendant in wheelchair

‘Tyrannical’ judge booted from bench after berating gravely ill defendant in wheelchair
Merrilee Ehrlich (Image: Judicial Circuit of Florida via Fox News)

[Ed. – The woman, who had been charged with a misdemeanor, died three days later.]

A Florida judge was relieved of her duties Friday after berating a woman in a wheelchair who was having trouble breathing due to two medical conditions and who died at home three days after the encounter.

Broward County Circuit Judge Merrilee Ehrlich gave defendant Sandra Faye Twiggs, 59, who was in court facing misdemeanor charges resulting from a family dispute, a tongue-lashing in a video dated April 15.

The judge’s berating of Twiggs was so extreme that the wheelchair-bound woman’s public defender, Howard Finkelstein, called for the judge to be banned from presiding over criminal proceedings.

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“It is not appropriate for anyone to endure that kind of treatment,” Finkelstein’s chief assistant, Gordon Weekes, told the Miami Herald.

During the video, which was posted on YouTube and as a comment on a judicial gossip site, Twiggs asks about receiving treatments and the judge can be heard shouting her down, saying, “I’m not here to talk about your breathing treatments.”

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