Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Legal Reader on Judicial Antics

A series of recent posts over at The Legal Reader have discussed various recent judicial antics, primarily "naughty" judicial antics:

The Exposure of Judge Thompson (Oklahoma)

The culmination of the publicity about Judge Donald Thompson in Oklahoma and his conviction on each of four counts of indecent exposure while on the bench came with this post and this post. It's probably never a good thing when you, as a judge, are on trial for indecent exposure on the bench and your trusted court reporter testifies to having seen your penis at least 15 times, having seen you urinate into a wastebasket during trials, and having seen you shave your scrotum on the bench during closing arguments of a murder trial. More on this story (if you need it) here.

The Suspension of Judge Subryan (New Jersey)

Judge Randolph Subryan received a two month suspension for kissing a law clerk who did not want to be kissed. In addition to the suspension, the state paid out a $300,000 settlement for the related sexual harrassment suit. Expensive kiss.

The Forced Apology of Judge Downey (Florida)

Judge Brandt C. Downey III received a public reprimand and must retire at the end of his term -- and he must sign a letter of apology to fellow judges and the public. Why? Because he admitted to viewing porn on the computer in his chambers, repeatedly, after being warned to stop.

But before we stop with all these "naughty" judicial antics, let's also point out a good story:

Successful DWI Justice

Judge James Dehn in Minnesota has had success with DWI cases by developing a way to reach some of the state's most dangerous drunken drivers and cut their repeat offenses in half. His technique includes imposing jail sentences to be served over two years, in the months of July and December. If the defendant can appear before the judge and convine him they've been sober, he suspends the month in jail. And it seems to be working.


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