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Judges Say the Darndest Things

judge.jpgJudge Ted Berry, a Cincinnati-area municipal judge, has raised quite a local kerfuffle. Ivan Boykins stood before Judge Berry, accused of trespassing and possession of marijuana. He pleaded no contest, and things turned to sentencing. Judge Berry offered to give Boykins probation, but Boykins wasn’t too keen on this idea because he wouldn’t be able to keep smoking weed while on probation. (Accord to the transcript, his exact words were: “No. I don’t want to do probation. I’m going to keep smoking.”)

So Judge Berry did what any of us probably would’ve done and basically said: “Fine, you don’t want probation? So you’re sentenced to thirty days in the clink.” I guess Boykins liked this even less, because he shouted out a hearty “fuck you” to Judge Berry.

Which is when Berry raised the minor kerfuffle because, instead of just hitting Boykins with a contempt of court charge, he countered with a “fuck you” of his own.

It’s virtually unheard of for a judge to curse at all from the bench, let alone to throw a “fuck you” the defendant’s way. And while this isn’t against the ABA’s Model Code of Judicial Conduct, it does seem to go against the section on “decorum, demeanor, and communication” which says that a judge will be patient and dignified, requiring order and decorum.

Whatever - I salute Judge Berry. Why should he have to put up with such crap from Boykins? Besides, if our own Vice President can get away with telling folks to go fuck themselves, what’s the harm in a little judicial “fuck you” now and again?