About This Blog

Entries beginning with a number are a continuation of the old Judging Crimes blog, which was long focused on the two meanings of its name: the way crimes are judged in America, and the, uh... occasional defalcations and derelictions of the berobed.

Judging Crimes took a long hiatus for some of the reasons explained here.

Entries beginning with Book 'em! are book reviews and commentaries. No attention is paid to the imperatives of book marketing. As Calvin Trillin once pointed out, the average shelf life of a book in a bookstore falls somewhere between milk and yogurt, but in these days of long-tail online marketing that matters less to everyone, and I don't see why it should matter at all to reviewers. Most posts will be about books that have been around long past the time when yogurt would have solidified.

Other entries will be... well, I'm curious to find out what the others will be.

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Test Drive the Book!
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Saturday
Mar062010

433. Inexcusable and excusable

From a suburb of Seattle with one of those early-settler's-wild-guess-at-Indian-word names comes this story:

A King County District Court judge could be suspended for 90 days based on his conduct in an Issaquah courtroom.

Judge [name withheld] was censured April 10 by the state Judicial Conduct Commission for disrespectful behavior. Commissioners recommended to the state Supreme Court a 90-day, unpaid suspension for him.

The commission said Eiler belittled defendants and interrupted them while they were speaking.

I changed the pronouns in that excerpt just to allow you the surreal experience of imagining a male judge facing suspension on account of arrogant, belittling behavior.  The judge in question is named Judith Eiler.

In my book I tell the story of Judge Earl O'Connor of Kansas City, Kansas.  After his death, colleagues and proteges lovingly described him as someone who was always "in control," who had "a gruff persona on the bench and put lawyers through their paces." 

He didn't face judicial discipline for his rudeness.  On the contrary, the Tenth Circuit's website includes a long adulatory profile of him - which omits any mention of the single most important datum in his biography, which is that he was a murderer.  But then, Judge O'Connor "only" killed his wife before shooting himself - the pathological control freak's signature form of suicide. 

In just in the last few posts we've had one judge twice twice convicted in connection with incidents in which his female companions appear to have been treated ungently (see post 430) and a second judge who maliciously withhheld the protection of the law from female victims of abuse unfortunate enough to appear in his courtroom.  (See post 429.)

Neither of them was suspended from office for 90 days without pay, as the Washington Commission on Judicial Conduct recommends be done to Judge Eiler.

Across the country, it will be recalled, the Pennsylvania Judicial Conduct Board declined to investigate a detailed complaint about male Luzerne County judges selling children in exchange for kickbacks.  When it decided to give the male judges a pass, it was relying on them to provide evidence against their colleagues who was alleged to have a bad attitude, which the Board considered a more pressing matter.  Want to guess the other judges gender?  (See post 258, keeping in mind that the allegations against Ann Lokuta were made by black-robed psychopaths and their sycophants.

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