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.
I have little children, and I often play games with them, like Battleship, Life, and Monopoly Junior. I teach my children to be honest and play by the rules. It is very sad that such basic concepts are sometimes lost in the judicial system. When my kids cheat at Battleship and look at the opposition's positioning of ships, it does result in a dispute, but the stakes are relatively minor. In a criminal case, a man's very freedom is at stake.
In this case, the judge was investigated by the Texas state judicial conduct board. A resolution was reached in which the judge agreed to resign and the board would basically stop its investigation and not push the matter further. I have to admit that I believe that the punishment does not fit the crime. If the judge's action jeopardized another person's freedom, then the judge's freedom should be restricted. The resignation is a good first step, but the judge should also be prosecuted under some criminal statute. I tell my children that their actions have consequences, and this judge should be shown that her actions in perverting justice should result in consequences that limit her freedom.