Ohio Judge Allegedly Chastises Jury For Acquitting Defendant; Promises That She Is Not Done With Defendant

a_25391Jurors are routinely told by judges and lawyers that they alone decide guilt and the parties will abide by their decision. That did not stop however Judge Amy Salerno who allegedly chastised a jury for finding a defendant not guilty in a recent case in Columbus. Salerno has now correctly been referred to the court for disciplinary action after four jurors complained about the tongue lashing.

It is one of the most important values in our judicial system is the neutrality of the judge in accepting the judgment of the jury. Yet we have seen more judges stepping from behind the bench to make public comments or lecture on the merits. This includes the improper comments in my view of the judge in the Casey Anthony case.

In this case, the jurors reported that the judge told them that 99 percent of the time jurors get the verdict right so that it was now down to 98 percent of the time. Even more worrisome is the alleged statement of the judge that the verdict did not matter because she was not done with the defendant. Jurors said that Salerno commented that the defendant had other charges pending and that she would see to it that he was punished.

The witnesses said that the judge was so incensed that she actually delayed a separate trial to vent at the jurors. The other judge reported dismissed the jurors of that trial out of fear that Salerno’s comments would prejudice them. The chief judge indicated that he would ask Salerno not to preside over future proceedings with the defendant. That much is obvious. It is really not her choice. She is clearly disqualified.

The question is whether, if these allegations are true, Salerno should remain as a judge. I would find it quite troubling to learn that she was allowed to continue on the bench after violating such fundamental principles of judicial conduct.

Judge_Amy_Salerno_2005Salerno is actually up for reelection in November as a Republican. She is a former state representative. She earned her B.A. from Youngstown State University in 1979 and her J.D. from the Ohio State University in 1982.


Source: ABA and ABC

38 thoughts on “Ohio Judge Allegedly Chastises Jury For Acquitting Defendant; Promises That She Is Not Done With Defendant”

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  2. Ralph Adamo:

    I agree with you that no judge is free of bias. But in this case, the jury had ruled. Whether the court agreed with the verdict is completely immaterial. Indeed, it would likewise be immaterial had she agreed with the verdict. She should have excused the jury and saved her comments for counsel in chambers.

    I recall winning a favorable verdict years ago against an individual who had placed a listening device in my client’s (his partner’s) office. After the jury left the courtroom, the judge volunteered his view that I was wise to have requested a jury, confirming my decision not to submit the case to a bench trial before that judge.

  3. The reality is that a large percentage of judges use their position exactly as Judge Salerno does. The difference is that most of them attempt to conceal their judicial prejudices, at least to a moderate enough level as to avoid disciplinary action.

    But Judge Salerno is actually an honest judge by comparison. Most of you are perfectly happy with prejudicial judges as long as they pretend to be impartial. But I’ve been around judges my entire life and I’ve known several of them. ALL have incredible biases and those biases often are reflected in their decisions, courtroom demeanor, and throughout discovery.

    So criticize Judge Salerno all you want if it makes you feel better about yourselves and your “values.” But the fact is that a very large number of judges constantly inject their biases and prejudices into the cases they preside over.

  4. How to “misuse” statistics! What this arrogant judge “actually” meant was that 99% of the juries “agree” with the her “opinion” whether her opinion is “right” or “wrong” … although I’m sure that in her mind only her opinion could ever be “right”! Who knows what miscarriages of justice have occurred during her reign on the bench!

  5. My guess is that this judge has no teeth marks on her tongue. Nevertheless, let us not be too harsh. Maybe she was just having a bad day and is a competent jurist otherwise. Look at her total body of work before calling for her scalp.

  6. @ Mike Spindell
    “This is what we get when Judges have to run for office.”
    This is what we get when the “courts” have a monopoly.

  7. She should be removed from the bench. However, given the politicization of virtually every institution of government, she could just as well use videos of her comments to defendants in open court as campaign material to convince voters of her single-minded determination to fight crime. You know, sort of a judicial clone of Joe Arpaio.

  8. Judge Salerno is consistently rated as the worst judge in the Franklin County Municipal Court. Fortunately she is up for reelection this year and there is a terrific lawyer running against her named Kristen McKinley!

    We really need to get Salerno out of the court. She is barely ever doing her job and when she’s in court she makes a mockery of her position!

  9. Please, PLEASE, get a proofreader!! I beg you! Sloppy writing/typing distracts from the message you are trying to get across! Example:

    “That did not stop however JUdge Amy Salerno who allegedly chastised a jury for finding a defendant not guilty in a recent case in Columbus.”

    … now the U after the J in Judge is obviously a finger stuck on the Cap key, but still, it’s sloppy!

    Then, this within another para:

    “The other judge reported dismissed the jurors of that trial out of fear that Salerno’s comments would prejudice them.”

    I may stop going to this site altogether — if they aren’t careful with their words, are they also loose with their facts?

  10. More examples of biased and corrupt judges are in Missouri. Evidently, if you don’t live (and vote) in Missouri, but bring suit against a Missourian, his attorney can break all the rules of evidence, along with the Judge to ensure providence upon the Missourian.

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