It is an open secret that judges tend to punish defendants who defend themselves. You’re supposed to plead guilty and take the prosecutor’s plea offer.
Daily Kos, a government-loving website generally, has reported on the case of a Florida man on probation who was sentenced to SIXTY YEARS in state prison for merely possessing a pistol clip with some bullets in it (no pistol).
The Daily Kos story details several other cases where this Florida judge, Matthew Destry, handed out tyrannical, totalitarian justice. (And a few cases where Destry was quite lenient.)
Public defenders now simply advise defendants whose cases are overseen by Judge Destry to simply take whatever deal a prosecutor offers.