I am rather perplexed by a ruling by U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman to order not just four more years of community service for filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza but continuation of psychological counseling despite the countervailing findings of two experts in the case. Judge Berman was on solid ground in much of his opinion on the conditions of the prior sentencing order. While tough, the defense was trying to curtail key aspects of the order. However, the counseling component does concern me.
The Chinese government is carrying out another infamous sweep of human rights lawyers and activists with over 100 people arrested nationwide. The authoritarian communist regime has offered preposterous excuses for the arrests but the message is clear: human rights will not be tolerated in the worker’s paradise that is China. Indeed, with pollution and corruption choking the life out of the public, the communist rulers still view human rights lawyers as the priority danger for the country.
Judge Reese Holley of Dickson, Tennessee has agreed to stop conditioning representation of counsel on making donations to his favorite charities or performing public service. What is most astonishing is not that Holley did not know what any first-year law student could tell him but that he has only been reprimanded and will be allowed to continue to serve as a judge in Tennessee after doggedly maintaining such facially unconstitutional and abusive rule. He only received a public reprimand.
There is an interesting criminal appeal filed in Pennsylvania by a convicted murderer Robert Urwin Jr., 58 who has serious reservations about the judge who presided at his trial. He should know. Former Washington County Common Pleas Judge Paul Pozonsky was later sentenced in the same courthouse for stealing cocaine from the evidence room and replacing it with baking soda.
The Ohio Supreme Court has suspended Rodger Moore, a Northern Kentucky attorney who appears to have been undone by a love for expensive wines — very expensive wines. Moore reportedly admitted to a series of shoplifting incident of wine. As a wine lover, I always joke that this is an expensive habit and that a heroin addiction would be cheaper. Moore appears to have prove the point.
Kentucky Judge Steven D. Combs in Pike County has been temporarily suspended after an array of charges of bizarre comments and actions, including calling officials such names as “Fishface,” “cokehead,” and “Dumbo.” Worst yet, he threatened to put a “bullet in the head” of the next police officer who pulled him over. A temporary suspension until resolution of the 10 charges seems quite modest punishment but his counsel, Stephen Ryan, still conveyed Combs’ “disappointment” with the action taken by the Judicial Conduct Commission.
This week I will be blogging from London, England. Today will be the first day, though I arrive around 10 pm in London. I will be speaking at the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta. I will be participating on a program organized by Hon. Delissa A. Ridgway, Judge of the United States Court of International Trade entitled “What if . . . there had been no Magna Carta?”