The WC – Should Judges be Held Liable?

October 20, 2017 12:00 pm · 25 comments

The “Water Cooler” is a feature on where we ask you a question or provide a topic, and you talk about it.

The “Water Cooler” will be up Monday-Friday at noon.

Today’s question:

If a judge decides to let a violent criminal out of jail or prison, and that criminal murders, kills or sexually assaults a person after being released, do you think the judge should be held liable for his or her actions?

Talk about it.

AnonZ October 20, 2017 at 12:09 PM

Depends upon the circumstances. For instance, the Brock Turner case. The Judge gave him 6 months for rape. If this guy commits another similar crime, yes the Judge should be liable.

The Mamba October 20, 2017 at 12:17 PM

Criminally or civilly? I think if they do something way outside of what is legal or the guidelines they are given, they can be.

Concordejet October 20, 2017 at 12:36 PM

Not only the judge but the dumb prop 47 should be liable.

Michael Langley October 20, 2017 at 12:48 PM

If the judge is following the law or the constitution, then there is no fault in the judge.

Reason October 20, 2017 at 12:52 PM

That would destroy the criminal justice system.

America October 20, 2017 at 1:02 PM

This happens frequently, so we would have to replace judges daily. I understand that there are rules and procedures that the judges must follow. However, if a judge let out a habitual criminal on a mere technicality, and the criminal did something horrible again, then the judge should be placed in the same jail cell as the criminal for 30 days. How is that for justice?!!!

Kentucky Derby October 20, 2017 at 1:19 PM

I would like to say yes, but probably not. If we start stripping judges of their power, it’s a slippery slope. The more power you take away from a judge, the more power the criminal (or his lawyer) has, and the law bends over backwards as it is to coddle criminals.

Ricardoh October 20, 2017 at 1:43 PM

The city of San Francisco should be held responsible for the murder of Kathryn Steinle. The whole cabal from mayor,city council, and sheriff should be in jail.

Strad October 20, 2017 at 2:21 PM

The judge in the Brock Turner case would have sent the guy free if not for all the publicity. The judge didn’t think it was rape.

Stanford October 20, 2017 at 2:21 PM

Cue liberals who’d say a judge should be held liable, but don’t want to hold anybody accountable for sanctuary cities when the same consequence happens…..

old-school guy October 20, 2017 at 2:26 PM

Stick it to the politicians who think criminals should have more rights than the victims.

Broke in Colony Park October 20, 2017 at 2:38 PM


just a concordian October 20, 2017 at 2:50 PM

Currently traffic courts get staffed by not actual judges but by attorneys who no longer practice or that have worked in the court system for a long time. And they stay as traffic court commissioners or referees for a very long time, or until they get too many complaints against them to be removed by the court.

That should change.

Actual appointed/elected judges should rotate to cover traffic court. It would be a nice change of pace for them, a little more relaxed atmosphere, and the defendants would get a lot fairer judgement than today’s “if cop says so, you did it” standard.

Strad October 20, 2017 at 3:19 PM

In regards to todays question. Judges should have psychological evaluations just like cops.

Rob October 20, 2017 at 3:53 PM

Of course not, but if we do…

How about if a DA or Cop lies or withholds information and it is found later an innocent person is convicted that the DA and or Cop who lied has to go to prison for the same length of time the innocent person spent locked up…

Anonsense October 20, 2017 at 3:54 PM

Of course not. That’s insane

Original G October 20, 2017 at 4:11 PM

Judges can make mistakes.

But there are far more serious travesties committed by knee jerk mirror worshiping politicians infesting CA state legislature. Prime example was their cure for California’s prison overcrowding AB-109 passed into law in 2011.

Convicted state prison referred to as NON-3 (non-violent, non-serious and non-sex offenders) by the bill were sent back to the counties they came from to serve remainder of their sentences. If memory serves bill ONLY considered last Felony conviction ans if they were third strike.

Has been suggested first ones transferred back to county jails were those with medical conditions requiring long term high cost treatments. Counties also faced many lawsuits over medical care in their jails.

“AB 109 DECEPTION: Is the state dumping dangerous offenders at our doorstep?”

“One former inmate is a registered sex offender and was released from prison to the care of the county after AB 109 took effect because his most recent prison term was for a violation the state deemed as a non-violent, non-serious and non-sexual offense.”

AB-109 also promoted use on GPS ankle bracelets.
“Sexual Assault Suspect Released Early From Prison – Assembly Bill 109”
Sex offenders routinely released from California jails, records show
“New law releases sex offender early; caught on video violating parole”
“Sex offender linked to toy-aisle attack by GPS anklet”

Orange county Grand Jury report
Marin county Grand Jury

Long-term inmates — and prison culture — move into county jails

Holding Judges responsible ???
How about holding members of State Legislature RESPONSIBLE ?

Badge1104 October 20, 2017 at 6:19 PM

Yes! this topic came to light last week when a judge released a Criminal for the
13th time who then went out and committed a heinous crime. these judges and politicians have a duty to keep us citizens safe!

Julio October 20, 2017 at 6:34 PM

A lot of irresponsible people are responsible for where the judicial system is today. The people who make the laws should be prosecuted.

BritGirl October 20, 2017 at 7:06 PM

If we did that, then our judicial system will be corrupted. Lawyers are paid to get these people off even at the expense of society. Why just the judges?? How about the lawyers who defended them? I believe that because our prisons are overcrowded and crime is a problem in the US and there is not a program in place that leads to some rehabilitation of these inmates, then we will continue to see the same people committing these crimes. If we can train them to have a skill, a way to make it out in the world again then that may help. Once you have a record then it is virtually impossible to get a job. They return to stealing, selling drugs and running from the law. Vicious cycle.

Anon October 20, 2017 at 11:46 PM

So…you’re proposing bringing a judge before a judge?

Be gentle October 21, 2017 at 12:41 AM


Me October 21, 2017 at 5:14 AM

That would be mayhem. Nobody makes the right decision 100% of the time. We are human. As long as the judge is thoughtful and follows the letter of the law, he should not be held accountable for others actions.

Led October 21, 2017 at 4:53 PM

One obvious result: nobody would ever get parole, ever. No matter how deserving. While we are at it, why not throw out the president’s constitutional pardon power too? All these namby-pamby institutions from the long tradition of the rule of law: those all need to go. Accountability, yeah!

Jenn October 25, 2017 at 8:55 PM

@Michael Langley October 20, 2017 at 12:48 PM
If the judge is following the law or the constitution, then there is no fault in the judge.

Yes Michael Langley, 100% agree. The BIG problem though is that these judges, like the Contra Costa court judges, DO NOT follow the laws, and that is their standard operating procedure. The Commission on Judicial Performance has been an ineffective oversight of the judiciary and needs to be dismantled and replaced with an oversight and auditing committee that will serve as such.

Contra Costa County has a terrible culture as far as its court. There are far fewer court workers, including judges, of integrity than there are corrupt, crooked and crony judges. Judge Bruce Mills, Judge Leslie Landau, Judge Jill Fannin, Judge Mockler, there are notoriously corrupt judges who fail to abide by rule and law. The system in Contra Costa is NOT a justice system. It’s a paycheck system for the quasi-elite.

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