20 years ago this month:
- The Arkansas Commission on Judicial Discipline & Disability publicly admonished a judge who (1) stated to a young female defendant in a crowded courtroom “Your behavior is that of a common crack whore;” and (2) stated to another female defendant charged with prostitution, “How is business? Is business good these days?” and “There is no reason to be ashamed. You were not ashamed jumping in and out of trucks having sex with men. The men in this courtroom do not want to have sex with you.” Letter of Admonishment of Rainey (Arkansas Commission on Judicial Discipline & Disability September 21, 2001).
- Approving a joint recommendation based on a stipulation of facts, the Illinois Courts Commission publicly reprimanded a judge who had pled guilty of reckless driving and whose drivers license had been suspended for refusing to take a breathalyzer test. In re Racculgla, Order (Illinois Courts Commission September 7, 2001).
- Approving a settlement, the Indiana Supreme Court publicly reprimanded and admonished a judge for a television campaign ad that stated he had kept his promise, “to send more child molesters to jail . . . burglars to jail . . . drug dealers to jail . . . .” In the Matter of Spencer, 759 N.E.2d 1064 (Indiana 2001).
- Approving a joint statement of circumstances and conditional agreement for discipline, the Indiana Supreme Court suspended a judge without pay for 15 days for (1) permitting the practice of the clerk or her employees of affixing the judge’s signature stamp to protective orders when petitions were filed and before the judge reviewed them, which led to the appearance that the judge granted his father a protective order; (2) granting several citizens emergency protective orders against a utility despite the property interests of family members in the area; (3) after granting an automatic change of judge in one case and disqualifying himself in several others, sua sponte issuing orders of clarification extending the effectiveness of the emergency protective orders against the utility; and (4) entering orders in another case involving the utility, after having disqualified himself. In the Matter of Funke, 757 N.E.2d 1013 (Indiana 2001).
- Granting a joint motion, the Mississippi Supreme Court publicly reprimanded a judge for finding a defendant guilty of disturbing the peace and simple assault based on affidavits without testimony and without giving the defendant an opportunity to defend herself. Commission on Judicial Performance v. Wells, 794 So. 2d 1030 (Mississippi 2001).