Texas Judge Resigns After Being Filmed Sleeping During Critical Hearing

Special Education Judge Larry Craddock has resigned after being filmed sleeping during a hearing. Craddock was filmed sleeping through the critical testimony in the case involving a suicidal teenager. It appears Craddock found his “sleep number” on the bench because the family insists that he was out for an extended time.

Attorney Myrna Silver said that this was no quick nap on the bench but an extended sleep. The hearing concerns a teen who is seeking review of his status as a special needs student in the Texas school system. The parents of the teen named Ryan said that they tried all of the polite ways of nudging the judge out of his sleep like coughing and moving around books loudly.

Later Craddock apologized and said that the incident was due to medication that he was taking. That would seem to be a reasonable excuse except that a family in 2006 accused the judge of falling asleep 15 times during a due process hearing.

Source: Daily Mail

20 thoughts on “Texas Judge Resigns After Being Filmed Sleeping During Critical Hearing”

  1. Same woods — another judge lost his lunch in front of the jury when a particularly gruesome picture of the cotton gin victim was displayed on the overhead. Another mistrial — something about the judge’s actions being a comment on the evidence.

  2. Same neck of the woods — knew another who kept a bottle of whiskey and a shot glass beneath the bench. He would excuse the jury to take a drink.

  3. Once upon a time in my neck of the woods, a family court judge, a good one, was battling the flu. It was a cold day, a hot courtroom, and shortly after a lunch which probably included medication. He should have stayed home, but there is always constant pressure in the domestic courts to reduce the crush of pending cases, especially those headed to a jury.

    He dozed off and fell out of his chair. He grabbed for the nearest support — the U.S. flag. They both went down ingloriously. He declared a mistrial and resigned a few days later. He probably could have kept the judgeship, but was professionally embarrased in no small amount.

    He has since made a fortune offering mediation services in domestic cases. A service, which, by the way, has greatly reduced the pending case load for the domestic courts.

  4. Are you allowed to touch or jostle a judge to wake him up, or would that be an “assault”?

  5. 15 times during a due process hearing!? People don’t typically fall asleep 15 times in a row and find themselves asleep without being able to fight it without some kind of medical condition. I’m willing to bet he’s a narcoleptic and its not simply old age. That being said he probably needs some type of amphetamine to balance it out but I wonder if it had been diagnosed.

  6. I think he that this is more of an abomination as he was a special appointed judge…. btw… this id not his first nap…

  7. He looks old. What kind of judge is he? Special education judge? In a school system? Not the judiciary?

  8. “Reading some of the excuses for this judge’s behavior on this blog and others misses the point. This person should have been retired long ago. ”


    It’s not my impression that anyone is making excuses for this judge — circumstances being what they appear to be, it would seem that he shouldn’t be on the bench. Having said this, it’s advisable to get all the facts…

  9. I have been in the courtroom and witnessed a judge falling asleep during a trial. It is sad, but the attorneys purposely dropped a book to try to wake him.

  10. Reading some of the excuses for this judge’s behavior on this blog and others misses the point. This person should have been retired long ago. Many judges are kept on the bench long after their abilities to dispense justice have faded. Additionally many of them are medicated for various infirmities both physiological and psychological which affect their mentation. The unanswered question is should judge’s have urine test for drugs, should they reveal their health status to the public and most of all should they have regular psych evaluations. I cover some of this in Demons of Democracy. The cases in Demons are much more intense. One judge was using a penis pump during a trial. That is correct. This specific case was hushed up, yet an aggressive reporter eventually uncovered this misbehavior. Mark Davis MD

  11. This reminded me about a Judge in Volusia county, Florida who fell asleep during a year long bench trial in a construction dispute case. None of the attorneys wanted to wake him up for fear he would make them start over again!

  12. Valid questions, anon nurse. A good friend’s father had narcolepsy. He was a wonderful man, but the condition is truly frightening. Thankfully, his dad was diagnosed before he fell asleep behind the wheel or using a power tool. Medication induced napping is nothing to sneer at either. My mother has periodic migraines and she has to take this nose spray that’s pretty potent stuff. I’ve seen her fall asleep mid-sentence when taking it.

  13. Not knowing much about this judge, I wonder about narcolepsy (probably not, but…)… I also wonder what specific medications he’s taken (over the years?) and their possible impact on his decisions… It’s sad for all, especially for those who have counted on him for some measure of justice…

    (I don’t think that judges are mentioned in the previous video, but the filming of judges is obviously necessary at times, as well, as evidenced by this particular situation.)

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