Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Judges behaving badly

This is really nothing new. It goes on in District courts all over the land; Judges acing like they are are auditioning to be the next Judge Judy, often say horrible things to and about the people before them, insulting lawyers and treating defendants like subhumans.

Then they somehow expect that those very same people will pay a fine a continue to respect the law. Yeah right.

Judiciary | Judges behaving badly |

A $54m lawsuit over a pair of pinstriped trousers that went missing from a Washington, DC, cleaners was thrown out by a judge this week. It had attracted worldwide ridicule. The fact that the case was brought, not by a random loony, but by a former judge has added to the sense that something is wrong not just with America's litigation laws, but with the kind of men and women Americans choose to sit in judgment over them.

A whole series of judicial misdemeanours, ranging from the titillating to the outrageous, has emerged over the past year. Take the Florida state judge, John Sloop, who was ousted after complaints about his “rude and abusive” behaviour. This included an order to strip-search and jail 11 defendants for arriving late in traffic court after being misdirected. Or the Californian judge, José Velasquez, sacked in April for a plethora of misconduct, including extending the sentences of defendants who dared question his rulings.

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