Tuesday

Evil Judge Eileen O'Connor

Those (few) of you who read this blog consistently know how furious I was when Judge Eileen O'Connor of Broward County put a young kid in jail for four months for allegedly lying about his criminal record. (previous posts here and here.)

Well now the judge has backed off even further, not only releasing him but also lifting the curfew she had imposed.



The actions of both Judge O'Connor and the prosecutor in this case were absolutely reprehensible. They actually targeted the kid and ran his record which it's important to note ISN'T A CRIMINAL RECORD. In fact, in the two times the kid was arrested, the prosecution declined to file charges. So how the hell is anyone entitled to ask you about something where you haven't even had the chance to clear your name? It's outrageous. In fact it's so outrageous that it makes me wonder whether the fact that Stacy (the kid who showed up for jury duty only to be jailed) is African American has anything to do with this. I don't cry race often, but I have real doubts about whether the prosecutor and judge would have done what they did if the kid was white.


Now it's true that I have strong feelings about this particular issue because of my own showdown with Judge Bamberger over over jailing a juror, but no matter how you slice it, this is bad judicial conduct.


The has gotten a fair bit of coverage, but I'm returning to it for three reasons: First because of the news hook above, second because I wanted to highlight this nice piece in the Miami Herald, headlined:Jury duty was real hard time for teen
It reads, in pertinent part..

"On March 22, the day of his jury summons, Stacy Forbes donned his best button-down and wore dark slacks. 'Here's a young kid excited to do his civic duty,'' said Coleen Forbes. 'He never said, `Mom, how can I get out of it?

Her son regrets that now.

He lost his job at a dollar store. He spent his first night scared and in tears. He talks of merciless teasing by the inmates -- his crime carried no bragging rights in jail."

It’s just awful.

Finally, I’m returning to this because I wanted to link to the petition below:

Now let's be clear. I don't believe in recalling judges over decisions they make. I think that more often than not that tactic is used by the right to intimidate judges who suppress evidence or impose lenient sentences (no matter how proper under the law or the facts such a decision might be) So in principle I am against this sort of tactic. That being said, I am tempted to think that if there were the same hue and cry over injustices like this as there was over other judicial decisions, we'd all be a lot better off.

So I haven't decided whether or not to sign, but I'll provide the link in case you have and you want to.

Recall Judge O'Connor:
http://www.petitiononline.com/sfljudge/petition.html

6 comments:

Brittany said...

Gorgeous article you wrote there. ya wanna read something funny? She had several complaints regards to clients and Co workers but she also failed to disclose complaints that she recieved by clients, CO workers,etc. She simply lied and said that she recieved NO complaints, Pffft! Shes shooting her self in the foot.

Anonymous said...

The pressure should mount on Judge Bemberger of the Bronx, NY. She also puts jurors in jail when the juror does not convict the probably innocent.

Anonymous said...

Actually, you may be pleased to note: Judge Bamberger has just retired. She is no longer on the bench at all.

Anonymous said...

I live in an area where on child has been burned (by a multi-cultural band of youths) and another almost kicked to death. Maybe we should just let the kids run wild and kill each other instead of trying to teach them a lesson. If a child has been picked up by police twice and is back again, hell let him go! He/she is not evil, its the Judge and the system.
That was sarcasm in case you don't get it!

Anonymous said...

I live in an area where on child has been burned (by a multi-cultural band of youths) and another almost kicked to death. Maybe we should just let the kids run wild and kill each other instead of trying to teach them a lesson. If a child has been picked up by police twice and is back again, hell let him go! He/she is not evil, its the Judge and the system.
That was sarcasm in case you don't get it!

Anonymous said...

This does not surprise me as there is probably a higher percentage of evil, corrupt judges than ethical judges in the U.S.A. Judges rule based on their personal prejudices, not on the law, in many cases. Take the recent case of Judge Lynn Adelman of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who suspended the sentence of a convicted child pornographer. Judge Lynn Adelman is known as being very lenient on criminals, but his record on giving suspended sentences to child pornographers and pedophiles is reprehensible.