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NCJ Number: 51255 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: NOW, THE STATES CRACK DOWN ON BAD JUDGES
Journal: U S NEWS AND WORLD REPORT  Issue:84  Dated:(MARCH 13, 1978)  Pages:63-66
Author(s): ANON
Corporate Author: US News and World Report
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 3
Sponsoring Agency: US News and World Report
Washington, DC 20037
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE GENERAL PROCEDURE FOR DISCIPLINING JUDGES IN MOST STATES IS DESCRIBED, AND PARTICULAR CASES ARE DISCUSSED TO ILLUSTRATE THE KINDS OF BEHAVIOR BY JUDGES THAT HAVE WARRANTED DISCIPLINARY ACTION.
Abstract: IT IS NOTED THAT UNTIL 1960, MOST STATES HAD NO MEANS OF POLICING MISCONDUCT AND INCOMPETENCE ON THE BENCH OTHER THAN THROUGH IMPEACHMENT BY THE LEGISLATURE OR PETITIONING FOR A RECALL ELECTION--PROCEDURES CONSIDERED TIME-CONSUMING AND FREQUENTLY TAINTED BY POLITICS. THE IMPETUS FOR THE PRESENT CRACKDOWN IS BELIEVED TO HAVE COME FROM CALIFORNIA IN 1960 WITH THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A PERMANENT COMMISSION EMPOWERED TO INVESTIGATE CHARGES AGAINST JUDGES AND RECOMMEND PUNISHMENT, IF WARRANTED. ON THE BASIS OF THE COMMISSION'S REPORT, THE CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT THEN DECIDES THE ISSUE WITHOUT RESORT TO THE LEGISLATURE OR THE VOTING BOOTH. A SIMILAR PROCEDURE HAS BEEN ADOPTED IN 47 STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, WITH MAINE, MISSISSIPPI, AND WASHINGTON BEING THE ONLY STATES WITHOUT SUCH PANELS. TYPICALLY, THE PANELS HAVE A SMALL STAFF WORKING UNDER A COMMISSION OF JUDGES, LAWYERS, AND LAY PEOPLE. ANYONE CAN FILE A COMPLAINT AGAINST A JUDGE, BUT MOST ARE DISMISSED AFTER A SHORT INVESTIGATION. SPECIFIC INSTANCES ARE CITED TO ILLUSTRATE THE ACTIONS OF COMMISSIONS AGAINST JUDGES FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS: ACCEPTING BRIBES IN RETURN FOR LIGHT CRIMINAL SENTENCES; OFFERING TO TRADE FAVORS IN COURT FOR SEX WITH FEMALE DEFENDANTS; TREATING LAWYERS, DEFENDANTS, OR WITNESSES ABUSIVELY AND ARBITRARILY; AND FAILING TO MAINTAIN A NORMAL JUDICIAL WORKLOAD BECAUSE OF SENILITY. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Judge censure and removal; Judges; State courts
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51255

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