The unfortunate reality is that sometimes the people who are supposed to enforce the law are the ones who decide to break it. While most members of our police force are upstanding and valuable members of our community, we have all read stories about the men and women in blue who find more profit from working with the criminals than trying to stop their illegal pursuits. And, yes, there are a few attorneys out there who reach the poor conclusion that the law does not apply to them. As we saw in Houston this past week, judges also are capable of breaking the law. In doing so, they hurt the reputation of all professionals in the fields of law and justice.
Judge Donald Jackson, who is a judge with the Harris County Criminal Court, was found guilty of official oppression and sentenced to thirty days in jail. Perhaps he will have the opportunity to strike up some lively conversations with some of the convicted criminals that he put behind bars.
Jackson also faces 200 hours of community service, a $4000 fine, and 50 hours of coursework regarding legal ethics.
What transgression resulted in this penalty for Judge Jackson? He offered a better court-appointed counsel to a woman accused of driving while intoxicated if she would agree to his romantic advances. Apparently, Judge Jackson's reading of the Texas constitution led him to the conclusion that dinner by candlelight and roses were acceptable to enjoy with an accused criminal.
Even judges may find themselves in need of legal representation at some point, and the criminal defense attorneys at Bertolino LLP are here to help. We have lawyers in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio who are ready to defend your rights in the courtroom ... even if it's your courtroom! Please contact us today to discuss your case.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Posted by Tony R. Bertolino, Esq. at 3:28 PM