First let me say it is an incredible long shot that the Judicial Inquiry Commission will take any action against Judge Hall. In the complaint I filed four years ago the infractions of the judge were much clearer and I had the evidence and witnesses to back it up. This case is somewhat different. Having said that I still think it is important to file complaints against this judge. Even if they lead to nothing she will be informed that she is being complained about. The more complaints the more she understands that we are most unhappy with her decision to allow a child sodomizer to walk free after tapping his wrist. She did not have to accept this plea deal. So, if you are as angry as I am about this then file a complaint.
Seems to me like the first two Canons may apply in the area of Judge Hall taking contributions from a defenese attorney arguing this case.
A JUDGE SHOULD UPHOLD THE INTEGRITY AND INDEPENDENCE OF THE JUDICIARY.
An independent and honorable judiciary is indispensable to justice in our
society. A judge should participate in establishing, maintaining, and enforcing,
and should himself observe, high standards of conduct so that the integrity and
independence of the judiciary may be preserved. The provisions of this Code
should be construed and applied to further that objective.
Deference to the judgments and rulings of courts depends upon public confidence in the integrity and independence of judges. The integrity and independence of judges depends in turn upon their acting without fear or favor. A judiciary of integrity is one in which judges are known for their probity, fairness, honesty, uprightness, and soundness of character. An independent judiciary is one free of inappropriate outside
influences when deciding cases. Although judges should be independent, they must comply with the law, including the provisions of these Canons. Public confidence in the impartiality of the judiciary is maintained by the adherence of each judge to this responsibility. Conversely, violation of the Canons diminishes public
confidence in the judiciary and thereby does injury to the system of government under the law. (Commentary adopted 8-25-2004.)
A JUDGE SHOULD AVOID IMPROPRIETY AND THE APPEARANCE OF IMPROPRIETY IN ALL HIS ACTIVITIES.
A. A judge should respect and comply with the law and should conduct himself at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.
B. A judge should at all times maintain the decorum and temperance befitting his office and should avoid conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice which brings the judicial office into disrepute.
C. A judge should not allow his family, social, political, or other relationships to influence his judicial conduct or judgment. He should not lend the prestige of his office to advance the private interests of others; nor should he convey or permit others to convey the impression that they are in a special position to influence him.
Public confidence in the judiciary is eroded by irresponsible or improper conduct by judges.A judge must avoid all impropriety and appearance of impropriety. He must expect to be the subject of constant public scrutiny. He must, therefore, accept restrictions on his conduct that might be viewed as burdensome by the ordinary citizen and should do so freely and willingly.
I'd say that even if it is legal for Judges to take money from attorneys that regularly argue cases before them that judges should not do so because it could be inferred that the outcome of a case was based on a political contribution. There is no way to prove it and that leads to erosion of public trust because we can never know.
I also want people to pay attention to the comments on this post over at FlashPoint. Those who have chimed in to defend the actions of the DA's office are beyond the pale. They seem to be stating that a worthless, toothless conviction, via plea deal, was more important for a notch in the Asst. DA's belt than actually getting justice in this case. They are also saying there wasn't enough evidence to convict, which raises the question of why then did they pursue charges? Is this man innocent or guilty? If he is innocent, or they thought he might be, then why pursue him in court? If, on the other hand, he is guilty, as the DA and the judge had to believe he was before accepting the plea then why did they accept it? Is this routine in Madison Co.? This case just doesn't add up no matter how you stack it and I want to get to the bottom of it.
In this post on my blog they go so far as to imply that since I do not reside in Madison Co. then I have no cause to be angry or say anything. What absolute nonsense.
I want to again encourage Alabama citizens to file a complaint with the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission, a complaint with Attorney General Troy King and a complaint with The Alabama Bar Association.
There needs to be a very big investigation into just what exactly happened in this case so that we can prevent it from ever happening again.