Judge Jack Robison, a state district judge in Comal County, Texas, interrupted jury deliberations to announce that God had informed him that a woman accused of trafficking a teen girl for sex should be be found not guilty. Robisonapologized to jurors for the interruption, but explained “when God tells me I gotta do something, I gotta do it.” To their credit, the jury found Gloria Romero-Perez guilty of trafficking anyway.
Mysteriously, 12 perfect pillars of salt were later discovered outside the courthouse.
Judge Robison recused himself before the trial’s sentencing phase, for which he deserves some credit. Says a local news source, “Robison’s actions could trigger an investigation from the State Commission on Judicial Conduct.” COULD trigger? COULD TRIGGER??????
This, following the unethical sentencing performance by the judge in the Larry Nasser trial, is the tipping point for me. Although I have an excellent and constantly updated judicial ethics seminar that I will customize for different jurisdictions (I will soon be adding, “Don’t take messages from God mid-trial to the Texas version, for example), I almost never have the opportunity to teach it. Judges, unlike lawyers, don’t have ethics requirements other that the local Codes of Judicial Conduct. They don’t have to take regular classes in judicial ethics either, and many of them—like,oh, just to pull a name out of the air, ROY MOORE–couldn’t tell a tenet of judicial ethics from a cross-eyed echidna. Most judicial organizations don’t budget for ethics training.
Thus I am announcing, here and now, that henceforth my ethics training and consulting company ProEthics, LTD., will provide me, my judicial ethics course and the extensive materials it includes for any judicial group of any size anywhere in the country at no cost, save for my travel and, if necessary, lodging.
This will be offered as a public service throughout 2018, and we will evaluate the policy at the end of the year.
UPDATE: This, from the ABA…
Few federal judges face consequences as a result of misconduct complaints, and few of the complaints become public, according to a CNN analysis.
CNN reviewed nearly 5,000 judicial orders related to misconduct complaints and found that the documents “are remarkably short on details.” Since 2006, fewer than 10 cases a year were referred to a special committee for a closer investigation, and in six of the past 11 years no judges were sanctioned for misconduct. In some high-profile cases, judges facing misconduct complaints retire, putting an end to the investigation and preserving access to their pensions, the CNN investigation found…