Here's why experts say 'purist' Judge Penney Azcarate is slowing down Johnny Depp, Amber Heard trial
The controversial defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard is currently on a week-long break. The Fairfax, Virginia trial has seen attorneys for both sides objecting multiple times during witness questioning, and Judge Penney Azcarate has sustained a lot of those objections. Sustaining objections leads to more sidebars and further objections, as per The Wrap.
"I think the judge has tremendous judicial temperament, but I strongly disagree, respectfully, with a lot of her rulings. If you're quoting someone outside of the courtroom, that's hearsay. So I'm on the witness stand, and I'm saying something to someone outside the courtroom, that is technically hearsay," said Law & Crime analyst Gene Rossi during the live stream on Thursday.
"In my 30 years of practicing law, 99% of the judges did not care if I'm quoting myself outside the courtroom, because I'm there to be cross-examined. This judge is a purist, She is sustaining that objection because academically, technically, it is hearsay. But practically... judges allow it," he added.
Judge Penney Azcarate is the Chief Justice of the 19th Circuit in Virginia, where she has served since 2015. She is a former Marine, who graduated from Old Dominion and George Mason University School of Law. Most of the objections during this trial have been for hearsay, and Judge Azcarate sustained multiple objections on Thursday, May 5.
#CamilleVasquez: objection, hearsay!#Bredehoft: Bla bla— Khalid Khalifa (@KhalidKhalifa) May 5, 2022
Judge: I’ll sustain the objection, next Q
Bredehoft: bla bla
Camille: (exhales with boredom) your honor I’m gonna object on hearsay grounds
Bredehoft: bla bla
Camille: it’s, still hearsay #JohnnyDeppVsAmberHeardTrial pic.twitter.com/QaENqATx6D
As per the Legal Information Institute, "Hearsay is an out-of-court statement offered to prove the truth of whatever it asserts. Hearsay evidence is often inadmissible at trial. However, many exclusions and exceptions exist. For something to be hearsay, it does not matter whether the statement was oral or written. Generally speaking, hearsay cannot be used as evidence at trial."
The website adds, "Once an attorney makes an objection, the judge then makes a ruling. If a judge sustains the objection, it means that the judge agrees with the objection and disallows the question, testimony or evidence. If the judge overrules the objection, it means that the judge disagrees with the objection and allows the question, testimony or evidence."
Judge Penney Azcarate has denied Amber Heard's motion to strike, finding enough evidence exists for the jury to find AH defamed Johnny Depp in her op-ed piece. #JusticeForJohnnyDepp— Christopher C. Melcher (@CA_Divorce) May 3, 2022
"When an objection is overruled it means that the evidence is properly admitted to the court, and the trial can proceed. When an objection is sustained, the lawyer must rephrase the question or otherwise address the issue with the evidence to ensure that the jury only hears properly admitted evidence," states Find Law.
#JohnnyDepp v. #AmberHeard: Depp’s attorneys issue numerous objections to Amber Heard’s testimony on Thursday. Later, Heard’s attorneys are reprimanded by Judge Penney Azcarate. WATCH ⬇️ via @LawCrimeNetwork pic.twitter.com/bg8vp1wIKs— Sierra Gillespie (@sierragillespie) May 6, 2022