I followed the Thomas Yanaga murder case. Ilan Funke-Bilu, the defense attorney, did as good a job as it was possible to do, yet the jury returned a guilty verdict.
It wasn’t just a good job by the attorneys. Superior Court Judge John Trice did an excellent job assuring that the defendant received a fair trial.
All too often, the attention of the public is focused on the job of the attorneys for the prosecution or defense, and the job of the trial judge is taken for granted.
The judge does not have an easy job. He has to deal with high-powered attorneys, he has to make sure the jury is cared for and receives all the pertinent evidence that the attorneys wish to present, and he has to remain impartial so the proceedings are fair and the rights of the public and the defendant are observed.
Judge Trice was the unsung hero of the case. When the verdict of guilty was returned, Judge Trice dealt with the convicted defendant in the way we would want all of our judges to do.
We should be thankful that we have a strong judge like Judge Trice in our county.
James Merzon, Templeton