Friday, June 24, 2011

No Bias In "Ill Chosen" Comment By Judge

The South Dakota Supreme Court denied the request of a criminal defendant to be resentenced before another judge because of remarks the judge made at sentencing:

Defendant, a Native American, argues that he was denied due process in sentencing when the judge voiced a racial stereotype to describe his violent behavior under the influence of alcohol. The judge used the term “go native.” In defendant's view, the remark was “improper” and “gave the impression of bias and prejudice” entitling him to resentencing before another judge. Although the term was ill chosen, upon examining the judge’s entire remarks, we detect no risk of actual bias based on objective and reasonable perceptions, and thus, we affirm.

(Mike Frisch)

Judicial Ethics and the Courts | Permalink

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