Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Crisis of Credibility: Judges behaving badly

Judges behaving badly from The Economist.

Here are a couple of gems:

Albany city judge, William Carter, in New York, censored for his “utterly inexcusable” conduct after jumping down from the bench during a trial, shedding his robes and apparently challenging a defendant to a fist-fight. Another time, he suggested that the police “thump the shit out” of an allegedly disrespectful defendant. Mr Carter wasn't carrying a gun; many judges now do.

In Florida, Charles Greene, chief criminal judge in Broward County, had to step down after describing a trial for attempted murder involving minority defendants and witnesses as “NHI” (No Humans Involved).

In Colorado, a (male) judge resigned after admitting having sex with a (female) prosecutor in his chambers.

In California, a former judge was jailed for 27 months for downloading child pornographyIn Oklahoma Donald Thompson, a judge for more than 20 years, was jailed for four years for indecent exposure and using a “penis pump” to masturbate during trials.

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