Archive for judge

I Take My Justice With A Slap And A Racial Slur



There's a good chance that you or someone you know will at a point in their life be called in front of a judge to resolve some issue. Maybe it's a renter/landlord dispute, or perhaps it's a speeding ticket. Maybe it'll even be something more substantial, but the odds are it's going to happen sometime.

What we all hope though is that justice is meted out fairly and with no prejudice.

Well, if you live in Mississippi, don't be so sure. Here's a shocking and sobering report about Madison County Justice Court Judge Bill Weisenberger, who is white.  Talking Points Memo:

A Mississippi judge [Weisengerger] allegedly slapped a young mentally disabled black man [Eric Rivers] earlier this month at a flea market and yelled "run, n----, run," the Jackson Clarion-Ledger reported Sunday.

An apparent witness, Tammy Westbrook, told the newspaper Rivers was offering to help flea market vendors unload their goods when Weisenberger slapped him twice, then yelled "run, n----, run" as he fled. Westbrook and her sister, a vendor at the flea market, recalled that they thought Weisenberger was a law enforcement officer because he was wearing a security guard's uniform.

So this is the man who's pounding his gavel and dispatching justice. In a state with a Black population of nearly 40%, there's a chance this judge has issued quite a few punishments on minorities. Is there a chance he's only a bigot displaying racial hatred and animus when he's not wearing his robes?


Overnight: 'I'm Not Marsha' (I'm Melissa!) Blackburn - Great TN Political Ad


This is *Melissa* Blackburn, not Martha of the same last name

Great campaign ad for Melissa Blackburn, who shares the same last name as Marsha Blackburn but is a very different candidate - and not for the same office.


Country Club Punishment For Killer Of Four -- He Suffers From "Affluenza"


Ethan Couch

Outrage is about all one can say over this: the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported

For most people, conviction for vehicular manslaughter due to drunk driving warrants a lengthy sentence, but not in the case of Ethan Couch, a wealthy young man from the state of Texas.

The Keller, Tex., 16-year-old has a rare condition that a judge believes is best remedied with anything but dealing with the consequences for causing a DWI wreck that killed four people.

Here's a bit more about this deadly escapade before I get into the outrageous defense.

The spree began with Couch stealing beer from a Walmart with his buddies, jumping into a pickup truck and smashing into a woman whose car broke down on a Burleson, Texas road, killing the woman, two people who lived nearby and came to help, and a passerby.

Court testimony revealed that Couch’s blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit. He also admitted being drunk while driving and losing control of his Ford F-150.

Are you sympathetic toward him much yet?

His defense approach is simple, cop a guilty plea and throw yourself on the mercy of the court.

Well, when you're stinking rich, you go it even one better. You plead guilty but bring in a psychologist who proclaims the defendent has a rare condition. Keep in mind, four people are dead and two additional people are permanently disabled, one totally paralyzed. But it should be excused because the guilty party suffers from -- wait for it -- "affluenza."

Never heard of it? That's because it doesn't really exist. It was made up for this case.

It's a term which means that his wealthy parents pretty much let him get away with everything. The defense saved him from a 20-year sentence; State District Judge Jean Boyd bought it at his sentencing on Tuesday and gave Couch probation instead.

How can this be tolerated? Texas, once again you have some blood on your hands.

What if Ethan Couch was black? They'd already have executed him. But this is Texas.

This judge must be totally on some psychiatric leave of her senses. She tolerates a made-up illness, "Affluenza," and accepts it as a bona fide justification for probation. This brings back memories of the Harvey Milk murder and the Dan White "Twinkie Defense."

What the hell is wrong with our justice system? Now we take pity on the rich because they're... rich?


Video- Texas Judge Quits GOP Over Social Issues, Shutdown


I'm guessing it won't happen too much more, but it will happen. Via TPM.

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Video- The Daily Show: Frisky Business


VIDEO: Tennessee judge cites Jesus, changes baby's name


name tag

It's my kid, and I'll name him what I want to; that's what a Tennessee woman said when she named her baby Messiah. Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew disagreed and went right ahead and changed the baby's first name to Martin.

Just one teeny tiny thing: The baby's parents were in court to argue whose last name he should use, not his first name.

And where in our system of justice does it say a judge's religious beliefs have any place in a court ruling?

I mean other than all those other court rulings by judges who rely on their religious beliefs.

Via the Los Angeles Times:

"The word Messiah is a title, and it's a title that has only been earned by one person, and that one person is Jesus Christ," the judge told WBIR-TV, a local channel. ... The judge renamed him Martin DeShawn McCullough, which includes both parents' names.

Judge Ballew-It was concerned about the area's heavily Christian population. How thoughtful of her:

It could put him at odds with a lot of people, and at this point he has had no choice in what his name is," Ballew said.

But naming a child "Jesus" is okay with her? The judge claims that's not "relevant to this case." Got it. Is she what conservatives would label as an "activist judge"? Just asking.

She must really want to get her judicially faith-based hands on all those other parents who named their babies Messiah in 2012, because last year it was the 387th most common name for baby boys in this country.

Messiah's mom said she'll continue to call him by that name and said she would appeal the judge's decision.


Stop-and-Frisk Practice Violated Rights, Judge Rules



I never understood how anyone could pretzel the laws to even possibly think this sh*t was legal.

In a repudiation of a major element in the Bloomberg administration’s crime-fighting legacy, a federal judge has found that the stop-and-frisk tactics of the New York Police Department violated the constitutional rights of tens of thousands of New Yorkers, and called for a federal monitor to oversee broad reforms.

In a decision issued on Monday, the judge, Shira A. Scheindlin, ruled that police officers have for years been systematically stopping innocent people in the street without any objective reason to suspect them of wrongdoing. Officers often frisked these people, usually young minority men, for weapons or searched their pockets for contraband, like drugs, before letting them go, according to the 195-page decision.

These stop-and-frisk episodes, which soared in number over the last decade as crime continued to decline, demonstrated a widespread disregard for the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures by the government, according to the ruling. It also found violations with the 14th Amendment.

To fix the constitutional violations, Judge Scheindlin of Federal District Court in Manhattan said she intended to designate an outside lawyer, Peter L. Zimroth, to monitor the Police Department’s compliance with the Constitution.