Monday, July 1, 2013

Letter Of The Law

The New York Commission on Judicial Conduct has imposed an admonition of a judge who wrote a letter in support of the parole of a state inmate who was serving a term for vehicular manslaughter.

The inmate had completed his second year of law school when he drove a boat into another boat on Skaneateles Lake, causing the deaths of two people.

The judge has served in several positions since 1993 and is presently a justice of the Appellate Division for the Fourth Judicial Department.

Her letter to the Division of Parole was written on her judicial stationary, called the inmate her "friend" (but did not mention that she had never met him) and supported his release.

Parole was nonetheless denied.

The commission concluded that the "unsolicted letter...was inconsistent with well-established ethical standards prohibiting a judge from lending the prestige of judicial office to advance private interests."   (Mike Frisch)

Judicial Ethics and the Courts | Permalink

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