May a Trial Judge Form a Fixed Opinion of the Defendant's Guilt ?
In Overton v. State, 976 So. 2d 536, 547 (Fla. 2007), the Court rejected an appellant's claim that he was denied a full and fair evidentiary hearing due to improper conduct by the trial judge where there was "no indication in the record that Overton ever objected or attempted to disqualify Judge Jones due to his alleged improper conduct."
In Rivera v. State, 717 So. 2d 477 (Fla. 1998) the court explained:
The fact that the judge has made adverse rulings in the past against the defendant, or that the judge has previously heard the evidence, or "allegations that the trial judge had formed a fixed opinion of the defendant's guilt, even where it is alleged that the judge discussed his opinion with others," are generally considered legally insufficient reasons to warrant the judge's disqualification. Id. at 481 (quoting Jackson v. State, 599 So. 2d 103, 107 (Fla. 1997)).