A Texas judge recently resigned after it was discovered that she had been texting a prosecutor during the trial. Not only was the judge texting the prosecutor, which constitutes ex parte communications, meaning communications without the defense side being present, but the content of the communications were intended to assist the prosecution's case. The judge was actually recommending questions that the prosecution should ask. When I hear this, I picture the beautiful Greek statue, holding the scales of justice, and the judge putting her hand on the one side. This is an example of an unconscionable perversion of justice. A person charged with a crime has a constitutional right to a trial by a jury of his peers, and the judge's role is to remain neutral and make evidentiary rulings to determine what the jury should and should not hear. The judge's role is not to make an independent determination of guilt and innocence, and, based upon that decision, to then assist one side in the process to hopefully ensure a conviction. A man's life and liberty is at stake, and the judge is cheating.
A Montgomery County, Pennsylvania judge was recently called upon to sentence a man on five cases at one time, an event which is not always outside of the norm. There are situations in which a person goes through a crime spree and has multiple criminal complaints and charges filed. This case was different because four of the five cases involved drunk driving charges, and all four of those DUI cases were considered first offenses.
In the fall of 2014, star Pittsburgh Steeler running back Leveon Bell was charged with a misdemeanor marijuana possession and various drug-DUI charges. Bell was charged after marijuana was found in a vehicle that had been driven by Bell. Bell admitted to having contributed money to purchase the marijuana and to having smoked some of the marijuana earlier in the day, but he denied that he was actually high at the time that he was driving. Bell thought that he was able to legally drive in Pennsylvania and avoid drunk driving charges as long as he was not high while driving. Regrettably for Bell, he was wrong about the law, and ignorance of the law is not a defense.
Drinking on the job is never a good thing, but it is a bit more obvious when you are in charge of cleaning the ice with a Zamboni machine at a high school hockey game. Similar to a typical DUI case, the police were summoned after people noticed erratic driving of the vehicle. While driving erratically on the road means that the vehicle is swerving over the painted lines on the road and almost striking objects, I am not exactly sure what constitutes erratic driving in an ice rink. After the police arrived and conducted their investigation, the man was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence.