Sunday, June 29, 2008

"Anybody Else Want To Mess With Me?"

A Kansas district court judge was censured for intemperate and undignified conduct during the voir dire of in a criminal trial. After one potential juror had indicated an unwillingness to believe the testimony of police witnesses, the judge required the juror to remain throughout the trial. The judge then addressed the jury pool as follows:

'All right. Anybody else want to mess with me?'

The judge continued to question potential jurors in a loud voice and later apologized to panel members for displaying anger and impatience with them. The Kansas Supreme Court concluded:

The respondent's failure to control her temper and frustrations and her conduct toward potential members of the jury in open court greatly detracted from the honor and dignity of the judiciary. Her actions negatively impacted the proper administration of justice in a felony criminal case over which she presided. While we recognize that the Commission's recommendation is not binding on this court, (citations omitted) our review of the entire record supports the Commission's recommendation that the appropriate discipline in the respondent's case is public censure.

An article from the web page of the Wichita Eagle describes the case and mentions two prior reprimands of the judge. (Mike Frisch)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_profession/2008/06/a-kansas-distri.html

Judicial Ethics and the Courts | Permalink

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Comments

Mike, even from a thirdway around the globe, I noticed that your story was picked up by the ABAJ here: http://www.abajournal.com/news/kansas_judge_sanctioned_for_mess_with_me_challenge/

Posted by: Alan Childress | Jul 1, 2008 8:53:42 AM

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