A Trial Judge Is Capable to Disregard Known Facts In Reaching His Decision

In M.E.G., 353 So. 2d 594, 595 (Fla. 4th DCA 1977) the Fourth District explained that a judge is in a position to weigh testimony, assess credibility and resolve conflicts, just like a jury, when he sits as a trier of the facts. . . . He also decides what testimony is to be excluded as being violative of some evidentiary rule. He sits in the unique position of admitting and excluding testimony and then weighing what he admits and disregarding what he excluded. In the recent case of Alford v. State, 355 So. 2d 108 (Fla. 1977), . . . it was recognized that a trial judge may be made aware of facts bearing on sentencing issues but that he was capable of disregarding the known facts in reaching his decision. Therefore, extending Alford to this case, we feel the trial judge is able to disregard the improper testimony in making his decision, thereby rendering the "error" harmless. 353 So. 2d at 595.