Judge and prosecutor in bed together - new trial ordered

"In bed with" - not just a colloquial phrase anymore

Sometimes, the cynical among us will say something like, "the judge and and the prosecutor are in bed together," to express frustration if too many rulings seem to go the government's way. But it's just an expression, a provocative metaphor, right?

No, apparently, sometimes it's literally true.

Judge and prosecutor actually in bed together

Within the last week, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals overturned a drug distribution conviction and 23 year prison sentence, and ordered a new trial, because the presiding judge at the trial was having a sexual relationship with the prosecutor at the time of the trial.

Or, alternatively, the presiding judge was sexually assaulting the prosecutor at the time of the trial? Surprisingly, that little nuance hadn't been sorted out by the time of the appeal proceeding, so the court referred to the prosecutor by her initials, in case she was actually a victim of sexual assault, -- to protect her privacy.

Judge and prosecutor actually in bed together not enough for some judges

The most remarkable thing about this case, however, is NOT that a judge and a prosecutor had a sexual relationship, or some kind of nonconsensual sexual activity. People do crazy, destructive things all the time, and judges and lawyers are human beings too. This is a central reason why we shouldn't have a death penalty - because the criminal justice system is a human system, run by human beings, who are imperfect, who are corruptible. It's far too human a system to rely on to make decisions that are irreversible, like a sentence of death. So no, the sexual relationship between judge and prosecutor is not the most remarkable thing about this case.

No, the most remarkable thing about this case is that there was a dissent. One of the appellate judges in Oklahoma would have upheld the conviction! It's sickening, to think that there is a judge in this nation who would allow a serious felony conviction and 23-year sentence to stand under these circumstances. I don't think there is a single state or federal judge in NH at any level who would take the side of the dissenting opinion.

At least, I hope not.

--- Ted