Friday, September 9, 2011
In an interesting judicial discipline matter, the Mississippi Supreme Court suspended a justice court judge for 60 days without pay and public reprimand for misconduct in a case before her.
The judge had refused to sign a warrant in the case and ordered that the defendant's handcuffs and shackles removed. She stated in open court that the defendant was "not a criminal." She also displayed emotion and was tearful in open court about the defendant's plight.
Notably, the judge also engaged in improper ex parte contacts with the defendant's husband and had a prior disciplinary sanction for such misconduct.
A concurring opinion noted that the conduct (other than the ex parte contacts) invovled acts of judicial discretion that do not amount to judicial code violations. (Mike Frisch)