Donald Watkins, however, is a different bird in the legal firmament. He has made so much money in various ventures that he apparently feels free to blister most anyone, including U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller (Middle District of Alabama).
Fuller faces a misdemeanor battery charge in the wake of an incident involving his wife at an Atlanta hotel room. If found guilty, Fuller could face up to a year in jail. And Watkins is calling for the judge, if convicted, to receive the maximum sentence. After all, Watkins states in an open letter released late last week, that is the kind of harsh punishment Fuller has handed down in his own courtroom for years. From the Watkins letter:
"Fuller has earned a reputation as a hardcore 'law and order' judge for the harsh sentences he imposes in criminal cases. He is a firm believer in handing down maximum sentences in criminal cases," Watkins wrote.
"... If Fuller is found guilty, we request that the Court sentence him to the maximum one-year jail time allowed under Georgia law for a misdemeanor. As I mentioned earlier, Judge Fuller believes in handing down maximum criminal sentences. I am sure he would want nothing less in his own case."
With that, Watkins was just getting warmed up. Other key points from the letter:
In the letter, Watkins said:
• Fuller does not give defendants a fair trial in his courtroom "We are asking that you give Fuller something he never affords criminal defendants in his courtroom — a fair trial, the letter says.
• That he expects others to attempt to improperly affect the verdict. "Expect his friends in the judiciary to attempt to influence the outcome of his case," Watkins writes.
• And that the judge is biased against women and people of color: "Defendant Fuller is used to receiving special treatment in Alabama. He is part of the oligarchy of white men who run the State of Alabama. Fuller has absolutely no respect for women (or people of color)."
Watkins not only blasts Fuller, he questions the integrity of the judiciary at large. I never thought I would live to see the day when a lawyer would lay it on the line like that about judges. But then, Donald Watkins long has been known for pulling surprises.
Nice to see he has not lost his touch.