Tuesday, May 13, 2008
The Maryland Court of Appeals suspended a judge of the District Court for 30 days without pay who "had used profanity in the courtroom, made comments that manifested bias towards particular groups, disparaged the Judiciary, insulted defendants, and manifested a lack of courtesy, patience and dignity..." Samples: "What's the big rush to get back to Pennsylvania? It's an ugly state." After a woman took a crying baby out of the courtroom: "If she only knew how much I hate kids, she would not have brought that kid in here today." When a defendant pleaded not guilty: "Would you like some cheese with that whine because I've heard about all I wish to hear." In response to a plea for mercy: "I don't have any mercy. You haven't heard about me? I am a merciless SOB." To other defendants: "Well Mr. Jones, the hits keep coming. I mean, if there is a pile of shit there you'll step in it..." and "Ma'am, you can't bullshit a bullshitter..." He also made comments suggesting that Circuit Court judges don't work after lunch.
The court concluded that "[u]se of vulgar language erodes public trust and confidence in the Judiciary...Trust and confidence is undermined when a judge disparages and undermines fellow members of the judicial system." (Mike Frisch)