Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

New York judge Robert Hamley told a plaintiff in a domestic abuse case that

all domestic violence cases were a "waste of the court's time" and he also told a law enforcement officer that most women enjoyed being abused and asked to get "smacked around"...

Hamley resigned after deciding he could not successfully defend himself against charges brought against him by the commission... not so much an admission of guilt, just a good-ole-boy way to make the problem disappear.

Philadelphia judge Mark Pazuhanich took his oath of office in private (after county officials asked him not to attend a public ceremony) just weeks after being charged with fondling a 10-year-old girl at a teen pop concert... but was barred from hearing any cases.

''We have no intention of assigning any cases to him,'' said Ronald E. Vican, the county's president judge. "People here have a right to have their matters resolved in dignity and aplomb, and that can't happen in this environment.''

Right... so this guy is getting punished by being given a salaried position with benefits and no actual work to do... that should teach him the error of his ways.

In Atlanta, Judge Nina Hickson, a Juvenile Court judge who has presided over cases of child neglect, is being investigated after her 4-year-old daughter was found alone and wandering the street late at night in November. It's ironic that this is the sort of event that Judge Hickson can use to decide custody and neglect cases... when some other parent is involved.

It's pretty sad that we live in such fucked-up times that issues like these are hardly a footnote in the news... it's almost like sleight-of-hand: we stare in disbelief at some blatant abuse of power, which only distracts us from other abuses. It's even sadder that in the past few years there have been significant reductions in judicial oversight and the sort of accountability and 'checks and balances' that supposedly made our system the flagship democracy.

Keep your eyes open... you can't fuck the bozos if you don't know who they are.