Judges Apologize for Insensitive Remarks

October 16, 2012

Misc. Topics

Ohio judgesIt’s not always defendants who are on the hot seat as was seen recently in courtrooms in Arizona and Maryland.  Two judges were chastised for remarks made during the proceedings which seemed to point the finger of blame on the wrong party.

One judge issued an apology after her comments became public and the other retired from the bench as a result of the errant remarks.

The Arizona judge, Jacqueline Hatch of Coconino County, was presiding in a sexual abuse case involving police officer, Robb Evans, who had allegedly reached up the victim’s skirt and groped her in a Flagstaff bar after he had consumed eight beers.  (Evans was fired from his police job after the conviction.)

After the jury found Evans guilty, Hatch could have sentenced him to up to two and one half years in prison.  She gave him two years probation, but she did not stop there.

The judge proceeded to state that although the victim was not to blame for Evans’ actions, she needed to be more vigilant.  “If you wouldn’t have been there that night, none of this would have happened to you,” Hatch told the victim.  The judge also commented, “Even going to the grocery store after 10 p.m. can be dangerous for women.”

In her apology, which occurred as signatures mounted on an online petition calling for Hatch’s removal from the bench, the judge admitted it was her responsibility to make sure victims and defendants are treated fairly and “victims should not be blamed for coming forward to report crimes.”

The Maryland judge, Bruce Lamdin, made his remarks to a woman who was seeking a protective order against her husband.  Lamdin interrogated the woman for 30 minutes in what some later described as “judicial bullying.”  The abusive spouse was a veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder who had broken his wife’s arm, thrown her to the floor and “stomped” her in the ribs.

After the abused woman told the judge she did not have enough money to leave her husband, Lamdin told her that she had put money over safety because “it’s the easy way out” and rebuked her for not going to a shelter rather than staying in the house.

He granted her the temporary protective order she sought, but advised it was nothing more than a piece of paper.  “You can hold a piece of paper up in front of this gentleman, and he can shoot you right through it,” Lamdin told her.

The judge had been suspended for 30 days in 2008 for using uncivil and profane language.

Complaints were filed in the latest incidents by the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault, the House of Ruth of Maryland and the Women’s LawCenter who filed its complaint with the Commission on Judicial Disabilities.  Lamdin subsequently announced his retirement.

If you are in need of legal services, please contact Slater & Zurz LLP at 1-888-534-4850 Our experienced Ohio attorneys will assist you with a variety of legal problems and will make sure you receive any compensation due to you.

You can also describe your concern on our FREE CASE REVIEW form found on the right side of our web page at slaterzurz.com.

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Slater & Zurz LLP is an Ohio law firm of highly experienced and respected attorneys. Over the last 40 years, we have developed a reputation for getting positive results for clients. We've been trusted with handling over 20,000 personal injury cases and our clients have received more than $120,000,000.

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