Letters + Opinion » Mailbox

On Judging



I read the article "Judged" (March 10) with some interest. Obviously knowingly filing a false affidavit is a serious matter, particularly when done by a person in a position of trust. And if it turns out to have been perjury, that is particularly appalling. But please keep in mind that these judges are entitled to a presumption of innocence until guilt is proven, just like us ordinary citizens.

However, I found the attempted comparison by local attorney Bill Verick of this situation to that of the discipline imposed on attorneys for misuse or theft of client funds to be inapposite. The fiduciary obligation owed by attorneys to their clients is profound, almost a sacred trust. And embezzling client funds is one of the worst transgressions. In distinction, the present situation is markedly different. An employee (the judge) has filed an incorrect statement with his employer (the state) in order to receive compensation for labor (mostly) already performed. Thus, these judges received compensation due to them albeit the timing of that receipt is at issue. But when the employer (the state) repeatedly and steadfastly fails to provide the resources and staff necessary for timely performance by the employees, a certain amount of compassion is warranted. After all, these judges presumably have mortgages, food, family and other living expenses, and all the other obligations that are a part of human life in our society.

So an effort to paint them as miscreants on a par with rogue attorneys is profoundly misplaced in my view.

— Bronco Weseman, Eureka


The article "Judged" was well written and looks at several angles of what could be impropriety in a Humboldt County courthouse.

We tend to take for granted that ethics are always there and far too easily trampled in the face of justice. We are ruled by a powerful lot, who cast our burdens on a whim at times, where self-righteousness plays into the hand as justice takes its stand to know liberty. Freedom is a compelling label when one becomes a slave to the lies of a sentence cast improperly, and when the sentence is served, injustice is empowered by the downtrodden too weak to resist what is ill-gotten and demoralizing. Some don't know the words to say, while others look the other way to avoid a system of rules that not even its rulers want to abide by.

We the people are no longer treated as equals in this country. If one appears to have more talent (education), then that's what it looks like and the judge must act accordingly — to the law. And if one has more money, it becomes apparent, and almost without exception their lawyer wins.

Not many people find their way into a law library, unless it is their job that takes them there. I went there out of curiosity, and what I have found is similar to a web. Once an individual enters the web, each motion is met with a counter motion, where long before litigation is the daunting task of mitigation in a capitalistic nation.

"In early 21st century America, a long standing dirty little secret still exist among public officials, politicians, judges, prosecutors and police. The government — federal, state and local — is not bound to obey its own laws," Judge Andrew P. Napolitano states in his book, Constitutional Chaos.

— John Griffin, McKinleyville

Add a comment