Alas, if only she’d follow the rules…

Nob Akimoto

Nob Akimoto

Nob Akimoto is a policy analyst and part-time dungeon master. When not talking endlessly about matters of public policy, he is a dungeon master on the NWN World of Avlis

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13 Responses

  1. Avatar Rose says:

    She’s a menace. Thank goodness for the long arm of the law.Report

  2. Avatar Miss Mary says:

    Stories like this make me a little glad I no longer live in Houston.Report

  3. Avatar Mack says:

    Yeah, yeah, but you didn’t vote in your last school board election.Report

  4. Avatar greginak says:

    ummm Judge, maybe the parents, you know, the ones with legal responsibility which they aren’t fulfilling should be in your court.Report

  5. Avatar krogerfoot says:

    “Judge Moriarty is off on Fridays so he has not made a decision as to whether he will throw the case out.
    ‘I hadn’t thought on that issue because it turns me, “Well, he’s soft. He’s not gonna do nothing.” I’m taking off at 11:30 today,’ said the judge.”

    The popular election of legal officers – judges, prosecutors – seems like such a self-evidently bad idea it’s a wonder that it isn’t even more widespread in the U.S. The next step is to dispense with courts completely and decide cases by phone-in referendum during American Idol or whatever.Report

  6. Avatar krogerfoot says:

    Taking another lap on my hobbyhorse, this episode illustrates a typically feeble-minded conception of responsibility. Responsibility and authority too often equate simply to applying the rules and throwing the book at transgressors. This is completely divorced from any idea of discretion or, well, judgment. In practical terms in the U.S., the incentives for judges to never err on the side of leniency, and for DAs to push for maximal prosecution, leads all discretion to devolve down to individual law enforcement officers and school administrators. Individual decisions these people make set in motion clanking machinery of justice that lead to mandatory sentences, or blackmail-type plea bargains, or at least a record that will haunt someone’s future job prospects. “Do we call the cops, and send an 11th-grade honor student to jail? Or look the other way, and maybe lose our jobs?”

    If there are examples of judges being voted out of office for this kind of thing, I would truly love to hear about it.Report

    • Avatar M.A. in reply to krogerfoot says:

      I suspect that by the time elections roll around, most of the outrage is long forgotten. The American electorate has all the memory of a goldfish.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to M.A. says:

        Possible relevant datum to support that hypothesis – Judge Moriarty ran unopposed is his last (2010) election.Report

        • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Kolohe says:

          FYI, when seeing an unupposed candidate on a ballot I generally refrain from voting on that candidate, even if I happen to support him/her, just on general principles. (I’d write in something, but it’s a bit of a hassle on the election software used in Texas. Or at least Houston).

          When seeing a D/R running effectively unopposed (their competition being a third party or independent with no chance in heck of winning) I vote for the definitive loser. Again, out of sheer protest.

          And last of all: Direct election of judges is perhaps the stupidest form of Democracy in practice I have yet to encounter. Texas judges spend all their time on elections talking about how much toughter they’re going to be on crime than the OTHER guy (not a word about good legal judgement, the law, or anything relevent. Just ‘tough on crime’ — which is code for ‘Always in favor of the death penalty’ here in Texas. For everything more serious than jaywalking, and I doubt that will last).

          I’d really hate to end up facing a judge on anything — civil or criminal — and be wondering “Did my attorney support this guys campaign? Did he donate enough? What about the other attorney?” — rather than questions of, you know, legal culpability or contractual obligations.

          Perhaps in a perfect system, with lengthy terms, some pre-clearing to ensure minimally qualified candidates, and some form of publically financed campaigns, I might accept judges being elected. As it is, right now, in Texas?

          Horrible. I’d rather have the clowns in the Texas Leg appoint judges then this endless race to more mindlessly punish crime and mindlessly maximize sentences all for the next election. (Don’t even get me started on the democratically elected State Supreme Court — or Court of something or other. Forget their actual title).Report

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