Friday, September 9, 2011

Emotional Judge Suspended in Mississippi

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)

Judicial Ethics and the Courts | Permalink

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