Judge Queries Whether Defendant Wants a Piece of Him; Is Censured

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Earlier this month, the New York Commission on Judicial Conduct voted to censure an Albany city judge for inappropriate conduct.  Actually, I guess they described it as "deplorable" and "utterly inexcusable," but you decide.

The censure is based on two incidents involving Judge William Carter. In November 2004, a defendant who was being arraigned in the judge’s courtroom got angry and said he did not want to continue because he thought the proceeding was illegal. According to the report, Judge Carter then "left the bench, threw off his glasses, dropped his judicial robes and rushed toward the defendant, records show."

"You want a piece of me?" he asked the defendant. Whether the defendant did want a piece of him is unknown, as officers separated the two.

Four months later, while he was still under investigation for the first incident, Judge Carter suggested to police officers that they should "thump the sh*t out of" a defendant who they claimed had made an offensive gesture toward the court.  "If you are so upset about it," said the judge, "why don’t you just thump the sh*t out of him outside the courthouse, because I’m not going to do anything about it."  There was some suggestion that this comment was made sarcastically, but that does not always come across well in print.

Judge Carter was supported by a number of attorneys who said he was a thoughtful and caring judge who had simply made a mistake.  The commission voted to censure rather than remove the judge from the bench.

Link: Yahoo! News
Link: Carter Decision — NY Commission on Judicial Conduct