Now THIS Is An Unethical Lawyer!

"Not there, you idiot! Remember, my cousin said to find those drugs he planted UNDER the car!"

“Not there, you idiot! Remember, my cousin said to find those drugs he planted UNDER the car!”

To give you further faith that our justice system is in good hands, this guy was formerly a judge, too. In fact, it was his forced resignation from the bench that inspired him…well, let me begin at the beginning.

Georgia’s Judicial Qualifications Commission investigated Bryant Cochran, then the chief judge of Murray County’s Magistrate Court, after a woman said Cochran had made inappropriate sexual advances toward her when she came to his chambers to seek some warrants. She alleged that Cochran told her he needed a mistress and wanted her to come to his office wearing a dress and no underwear.

Smoooooth.

The results of the inquiry led to Cochran’s  resignation from the bench in August of 2012. To get his revenge, Cochran persuaded one of his tenants to plant a box containing meth under the car of his accuser. Cochran then called police with a tip that she was carrying drugs. Police stopped her car and used a drug-sniffing dog to  turn up the illegal substance, but the dog’s sniffing came to naught. A police officer who just happened to be Cochran’s cousin—hmmmmmm—  informed his colleagues that the drugs were in a magnetic container attached under the vehicle.

Prosecutors dismissed the possession charges against the woman after Cochran’s tenant admitted that he planted the drugs. Cochran was convicted last week on charges of conspiracy against rights, deprivation of rights under color of law, conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, and tampering with a witness. This was a full-fledged conspiracy: a Murray County deputy and captain who were involved in the arrest pleaded guilty to federal obstruction charges, Cochran’s tenant  pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, and one of Cochran’s childhood friends told the jury that Cochran asked him to lie, telling the Georgia Bureau of Investigation that he told Cochran about the methamphetamine under the car, to  explain how Cochran knew to tell the sheriff’s office to pull the woman over.

Stupid and corrupt. Yes, Bryant Cochran will lose his law license. The disturbing thing is that he ever had one.

_______________________

Source: ABA Journal

10 thoughts on “Now THIS Is An Unethical Lawyer!

  1. I just left a comment, and it got deleted somehow. Anyhow, it was about judge Amanda Williams of Georgia. Her, the prosecutor, and the sheriff in her district (all blood related) destroyed my friend’s trucking business. They fleeced him out of over $500,000, and left him and his wife nearly penniless . It was pay up, or face a ten year sentence and being held for about a year before trial. These watermelon farmers (also related) claimed he owed them something like $80,000. He didn’t get to speak a word in his defense. She’s apparently in hot water for other acts of tyranny, but my friend got no relief. 40 years of hard work down the drain. Does this qualify as an unethical lawyer?

  2. Cochran’s attorney said:

    “Based on everything I know about this case, he is not guilty of any conspiracy to plant drugs.”

    …most likely because Cochran’s attorney doesn’t know much about the case and certainly didn’t ask Cochran about his role in planting the drugs.

  3. Note that two senior police officials were co-conspirators. I find that just as disturbing as this corrupt ex-judge. I can only hope that the judge and D.A. who handle this case in court are of a far different character.

  4. It makes you wonder how often this happens and isn’t discovered. I figure one more ‘friend’ in the DA’s office and Cochran would have gotten away with it.

  5. I’m not so negative about this story.

    The fact that this story made the light of day is encouraging. The prosecutions are even more so. It took at least one ethics hero to avert a miscarriage of justice.

    Even more encouraging is the obstruction charges. Two officers tried to use the thin blue line to protect a bad officer, something that happens far to often. This time they’re paying for it.

  6. Here is something that bugs me.

    Why can not we replace our entire criminal justice apparatus with a supercomputer with a whole host of peacekeeping robots at its command? Computers can not be bribed, they can not be corrupted, they have zero bias- they simply follow their programming. It is 2014, not 1914. We ought to have the capacity to do such things by now.

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