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Texas Justice-"Party for Criminal"

Discussion in 'Legal' started by CentralTexas, Oct 27, 2004.

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  1. CentralTexas

    CentralTexas Member

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    Now that you are sucked in it isn't what you think!

    http://www.kvue.com/news/state/stories/102604cccakvuejudgeparty.2aa6f80c.html

    Judge who threw party for prisoner has tough reputation

    10:22 PM CDT on Tuesday, October 26, 2004


    Associated Press

    DALLAS — Questions are being raised about a Dallas judge throwing a courtroom party to sentence a former fugitive to life in prison. KDFW-TV reports Judge Faith Johnson hosted a party Monday – with balloons and a cake – for Billy Wayne Williams.

    The 53-year-old with a long criminal history was convicted in absentia of aggravated assault after he disappeared during his trial last November.

    Williams was accused of choking his girlfriend.

    He was caught last week in Arlington.

    The judge didn't immediately return calls today for comment.

    Here's some reaction:

    • Seana Willing is executive director of the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct. Willing learned about the incident through news accounts, and she said she was concerned the party might have violated the judge's requirement to remain neutral and detached. Willing says the commission could decide to investigate the incident. Judges found guilty of misconduct face a range of discipline, from a private warning to removal from the bench.

    • SMU law professor Bill Dorsaneo says it sounds like a "completely screwball" type of activity. Dorsaneo says he's not sure if it crosses any ethical lines, but the behavior is very unusual and he's never heard of anything like it being done.

    • Trent Touchstone with the U.S. Marshal's service says the judge took a special interest in the case after Williams escaped on the bond she set after the 2002 crime. Touchstone called the party a "great idea."

    • Prosecutor Trey Crutcher says he asked Johnson back then not to allow bond for Williams, who had escaped from prison decades before while serving time for killing his wife. But Crutcher said the judge lowered bond after testimony from Williams' girlfriend, who was a hostile witness.

    • Dallas Bar Association president Rhonda Hunter says Johnson is fun-loving in personal life, but in the courtroom she's a stickler for rules and demands that attorneys be prepared.

    Now what the above doesn't make clear unless you saw the actual footage-
    The guy was unaware this was going to happen and when the guy was brought in the Judge was very sarcastic isn a sickly sweet way. The judge said welcome home, parties for you etc. and then I sentence you to life in prison! That's the kind of party I'll skip!
    CT
     
  2. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

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    Once in awhile, I wish I lived in Texas.
     
  3. CannibalCrowley

    CannibalCrowley Member

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    She should've just stood up and screamed, "I wanted him convicted and put away for life from the very beginning!" Judges are supposed to be impartial, she obviously wasn't. She should be removed from the bench, and he'll likely get a new trial.
     
  4. patentmike

    patentmike Member

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    Sheesh, it's getting so you can't even choke your girlfriend into unconsciousness anymore without getting your feelings hurt by a judge!
    :banghead:
     
  5. El Tejon

    El Tejon Member

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    I'm all for wit (lots of people call me a half-wit), but it seems I recall something about "decorum of the courtroom" in the judicial canons.:uhoh: :what:
     
  6. CannibalCrowley

    CannibalCrowley Member

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    patentmike
    It's not about his feelings, it's about the judge's failure to remain impartial.
     
  7. R.H. Lee

    R.H. Lee Member

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    I think you meant to say "the judge's failure to appear to remain impartial."
     
  8. Yooper

    Yooper Member

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    Sounds to me like she simply jumped the gun. Sentence first, party later. If the party starts as Bozo is being led out of the courtroom, it will have the desired effect.
     
  9. patentmike

    patentmike Member

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    I understand that the judge should maintain a sense of the somber scales of justice and all that. Sentencing a felon is more like taking out the garbage than an occasion to party. But notice who's complaining; it's not the guy who was sentenced! It's more sensitive law professor types. They seem to be more concerned about whether the judge should be punished. I'd ask her not to do it again and let her go on her own recognizance.
     
  10. Black Snowman

    Black Snowman Member

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    He was already convicted in absentia when he skipped bail when the Judge gave him the benefit of the doubt.

    The party inappropriate? Sure. Worthy of removal? No way. Justice was served and that's better than the results of a great many trials.
     
  11. CannibalCrowley

    CannibalCrowley Member

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    parentmike
    It's highly unlikely that the convict knows that a judiciary canon exists, so it's reasonable that he wouldn't be complaining about a violation of something he doesn't know exists.

    Here are the canons that she violated (full version: Code of Conduct for US Judges)

    Canon 3A
    (2) A judge should hear and decide matters assigned, unless disqualified, and should maintain order and decorum in all judicial proceedings.
    (3) A judge should be patient, dignified, respectful, and courteous to litigants, jurors, witnesses, lawyers, and others with whom the judge deals in an official capacity, and should require similar conduct of those subject to the judge's control, including lawyers to the extent consistent with their role in the adversary process.

    Canon 3C
    C. Disqualification.
    (1) A judge shall disqualify himself or herself in a proceeding in which the judge's impartiality might reasonably be questioned, including but not limited to instances in which:
    (a) the judge has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party, or personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning the proceeding;
     
  12. Silent-Snail

    Silent-Snail Member

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    So does this mean that TV judges arent real, or are they just guilty of gross misconduct. If you have questions as to what I'm refering to watch ONE episode of any of them.
     
  13. patentmike

    patentmike Member

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    Reasonable? I might not know the chapter and verse, but I know if someone is giving me the shaft.

    I don't have the article in front of me, but I think she was a state judge. I'm sure that Texas has something similar, but if you want to be known as Professor Cannibal, you ought to cite the binding authority.

    But seriously, the reason this was in the news in the first place is because the judge was a bit over the top. It occurred to me that the judge might have done this because she wants voters to recognize her name for a week or so.
     
  14. Andrew Rothman

    Andrew Rothman Member

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    I'm so very sorry to have to break this to you, but the TV judges are not real.

    Sure, they may have been real judges in the past, but, then Jerry Springer used to be the mayor of Cincinnati.

    I'm pretty sure their TV behavior is a bit more outre than their "real" courtroom demeanor.
     
  15. CannibalCrowley

    CannibalCrowley Member

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    patentmike
    Alright, you asked for it. (I kinda enjoy this stuff, maybe I should set my sights on law school afterall.)

    Full Texas Judicial Code of Conduct

    Canon 1
    An independent and honorable judiciary is indispensable to justice in our society. A judge should participate in establishing, maintaining and enforcing high standards of conduct, and should personally observe those standards so that the integrity and independence of the judiciary is preserved. The provisions of this Code are to be construed and applied to further that objective.

    Canon 2
    A. A judge shall comply with the law and should act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.

    Canon 3
    B. Adjudicative Responsibilities
    (3) A judge shall require order and decorum in proceedings before the judge.
    (4) A judge shall be patient, dignified and courteous to litigants, jurors, witnesses, lawyers and others with whom the judge deals in an official capacity, and should require similar conduct of lawyers, and of staff, court officials and others subject to the judge's direction and control.
     
  16. ahenry

    ahenry Member

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    I’ve only got one thing to say to CannibalCrowley;

    Don’t live in Texas? Butt the hell outa our bidness.

    As far as I am concerned (you know, speaking as a Texan and all), any judge is more than welcome to throw a party, pachanga, or celebration each and every time they send somebody to jail. No skin off my nose.
     
  17. CannibalCrowley

    CannibalCrowley Member

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    ahenry
    No one in the US lives in the middle east, so we should do the same. What's good for the goose right? And I take it that you have no opinion on what happens in other states and countries, since you'd be a hypocrite if you did.
     
  18. patentmike

    patentmike Member

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    Here in Texas, we sort of like our judges to openly be anti-crime. Maybe the judge was "promoting public confidence". What are judges in the "Murder City" like?
     
  19. CannibalCrowley

    CannibalCrowley Member

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    patentmike
    She wasn't being "anti-crime", she was mocking a convict instead of doing her duty as a judge. As for "promoting public confidence", maybe you should read the whole sentence.
     
  20. ahenry

    ahenry Member

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    Well now, that’s just plain ridiculous. The one is nothing like the other. When possible though, I do think that a sovereign nation has the right to make its own laws and define its own punishments for breaking those laws. Remember the caning incident in China (?) a few years back? I was one of those eviiiil people that thought he should take the punishment they gave him. Their country, their rules, their decision. In that situation America didn’t have a lot of right to butt into it.
     
  21. GunnySkox

    GunnySkox Member

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    IIRC, the caning thing happened in Singapore.

    I think they shoot you in the face for Vandalism in China. :D

    ~Slam_Fire
     
  22. Sergeant Bob

    Sergeant Bob Member

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    Wow ahenry, your Cheerios taste kinda funny this morning?
     
  23. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Anybody got any idea how easy it is to lock or even "disappear" a thread when folks start insulting each other? Hmmm?

    "High Road" Think, "High Road". Attack ideas, not people. You know the rules...

    Art
     
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