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Should judges be appointed or elected?

After reading the Justice Building Blog about Broward Judge Merrillee Ehrlich, I started thinking about this question again. I think the appointment process leads to more qualified judges. But elections, at least in theory, hold judges accountable for bad behavior. Perhaps judges should be appointed but not for life. What about having a committee that evaluates judges every 5 years to decide whether they get re-upped or not?

From Rumpole:

2:37: Yells at defendant who responds to question not to talk.
3:04: Yells at lawyer to keep quiet defendant

3:53: Yells at defendant- "I'm not here to talk to you about breathing treatment."

Reflect on that for a moment. This is a misdemeanor case. The defendant is obviously not well. She's in a wheel chair. We learned later that she had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and in fact died within a few days of being released. The defendant indicates that she needs treatment to breathe. Not for pain. But to perform the basic function all humans need to perform to live. And the response of a member of the Broward Judiciary was that she didn't want to talk about it. Yes, this is the Broward Judiciary on full display for the world to see. They abuse defendants and lawyers all the time. However most of them have enough self control not to do it on video in this fashion.

4:10: "I’m not going to spend all day with her interrupting me."
4:50: Judge yells again
5:55 : "You’ve already said too much."
6:10 Judge Throws a fit and waves arms: "Don’t even say yes..."

6:35: And here's what a kind and decent judge says to a handicapped person in a wheel chair that they've just ordered to go to pre-trial services: "Arrange for someone to carry you if you can’t get there."

This post first appeared on Southern District Of Florida, please read the originial post: here

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Should judges be appointed or elected?


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