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Black Judge Refuses Plea Deal for "White Boy"

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Dr. Cheese, Oct 8, 2010.


  1. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    http://www.theroot.com/buzz/pennsylvania-judge-rejects-plea-deal-white-boy#comments

    This is interesting. If the prosecutor is biased and only offers plea deals to whites, I can see why the judge would refuse a plea deal for a defendant who would not have been offered a similar deal if he were not white, however, the use of the term "white boy" in court is dead wrong, and will probably have the unintended consequence of making the judge's language a bigger story than prosecutorial injustice.
     
  2. Yerf Dog

    Yerf Dog

    Jun 29, 2009
    Carol Stream, IL
    What happened to 'Justice is blind'?
     
  3. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I think justice has been peeking under the blindfold for a very long time.
     
  4. ... and with that, race realtions in the USA take another giant step backwards. Way to go judge.
     
  5. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Should the judge have given the defendant a plea deal if he honestly felt the defendant only got the offer because of his race? Would that be justice?

    The judge's language was totally wrong, but I am honestly more concerned about the issue of fairness in sentencing.
     
  6. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    Eastern North Dakota
    If we are concerned about fairness in sentencing, shouldn't we take human judgment out of the equation? Get a lawyer, plead your case, cry for the judge or jury, all that good stuff. BUt once you are convicted, no more human element. Crime A gets you sentence A. Crime B gets you sentence B. No deals, no consideration for the person or circumstances. Done.
     
  7. Neither quote in the body text of The Root or the linked Pittsburgh Tribune articles cites the judge as using the term "white boys" - his phrasing is quoted thus (from the Pitts Trib):

    That said, if there's a propensity for biased plea-bargaining in that judiciary then it needs root & branch sorting. A need, I suspect, that the inflammatory reporting by both journals will have done no favours for.

    Pete.
     
  8. Marlat

    Marlat

    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Am I confused as to what Dr Cheese meant yesterday?
     
  9. :smug:
     
  10. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I said I would post no more stories where whites were doing something to blacks. I clearly said I would still talk about race.l In this case a black judge refused to give a white defendant a break. I think this story is interesting because many TB'ers are law and order types who usually don't mind seeing a defendant go to jail. In this case it is a balck judge sending a white perp away.
     
  11. jp58

    jp58

    Dec 9, 2009
    Tennessee
    With the circumstances given, both parties are being racist. That is a ridiculous reason to deny a plea bargain, and if the prosecution was only offering whites deals, then the judge should've done something other than just throw a white person in jail to protest it.

    He is a judge and all, its not like he doesn't know any better.
     
  12. Bassguy61

    Bassguy61

    Feb 28, 2008
    Pearl, MS
    I'm no lawyer, nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn last night, but this raises a number of question to me. First, if what the judge is claiming is true (unequal pleas based on race), and he's obviously aware of it, one would assume there would be a way for him to file a complaint about it (Bar Association or some such vehicle). I wonder if he's ever made such a complaint.

    Secondly, again with no first hand knowledge, if the prosecutor is making unequal plea requests, does the judge not have the ability to not accept the plea agreement? If so, does the judge have some record that could be brought forth showing how many times he's had to deny unfair pleas?

    It sounds, to me at least, more like a personal issue between the judge and prosecutor. Again, if what he claims is true, you'd think it wouldn't be that hard to substantiate.
     
  13. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    AS far as I know, in state courts, a judge does not have to accept a plea deal. The judge simply could refuse the deal, that is his right as judge.

    In federal courts, sentencing guidelines often limit the judges options when it comes to sentencing.
     
  14. Marlat

    Marlat

    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    Sorry, I was referring to this statement explicitly:

    It seemed to me that this thread is about conflict between black/white persons in terms of access to justice. If that's not what you meant when you said that yesterday, that's fine, but clearly the words "black/white..interaction" can be interpretted pretty broadly.

    Personally, I'd rather you keep posting the threads. It lets me know where people stand on these types of issues.
     
  15. hover

    hover

    Oct 4, 2008
    Massachusetts
    But that is exactly what this is. "White boy" making "Black Judge" make bad decisions based on race. Doesn't matter the reversal of power in the ethnic roles...sounds equally vindictive. It's wrong, and just as much an abuse of power...
     
  16. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    You are right Mark, I did not clearly state my intentions. I wanted to move away from "white person dumps on blakc person" threads because it had become too easy for folks to dismisss them out of hand. I think this thread gives us some other issues to consider.
     
  17. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Is it an abuse of power? Since when are defendants entitled to plea deals?
     
  18. hover

    hover

    Oct 4, 2008
    Massachusetts
    no, there's no entitlement there, but you yourself implied that race weighed on the decision...
     
  19. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    I think the judge would argue that his sentence was an excercise in consistency since the DA seemingly did not offer plea deals to non-whites. Therefore, the white defendant simply got a sentence that was consistent with others convicted of similar charges.
     
  20. IMO, race should NEVER be a basis on why a decision is made. NEVER! If it is, who ever made that decision shouldn't be in a place to make decisions, especially on another person's fate.
     
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    Primary TB Assistant

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