Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Criminal Judicial Misconduct

When Judge Gerald P. Garson was confronted with evidence of his improper conduct with a lawyer to predetermine the outcome of cases that were brought before him, his attorney successfully argued at trial that he had merely violated the Rules of Judicial Conduct, for which there was no criminal penalty. However, in an important precedent-setting decision, the New York State Court of Appeals overturned the lower court's judgment and held that Judge Garson could be criminally prosecuted for actions that grew from those violations. The media should be credited for bringing the judge's corrupt behavior to the attention of the public as it was a major part of the story, "Chamber of Secrets," that was hosted on the CBS program 48 Hours on February 19, 2005 by Lesley Stahl and on June 2, 2005 by Charlie Rose. CBS News has also provided a transcript as well as video clips (2 to 4 min) in wmv format: 1) Catching a Judge, 2) Case Fixing, and 3) The Pay Off. The final chapter, when completed, should put judges on notice that the public will not tolerate the corrupting practices that unconditional immunity encourages. Investigations by the media are crucial to the exposure of judicial corruption.

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