I was a juror on a domestic violence case, and at recess outside the courtroom, I overheard a lawyer say to someone, “I can give you as much justice as you can afford.”
Four months ago, I wrote a commentary in the Tracy Press about a judge who was brought up on obscenity charges. On June 12, 2008, according to the Los Angeles Times, Judge Alex Kozinski, 57, of the San Francisco 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, is said to have posted sexually explicit pornographic photos and video movies on his own Web site.
The judge said he didn’t believe any of the images were obscene. He was to judge an upcoming obscenity case against a porn movie distributor charged with obscenity for selling movies depicting bestiality, among other things, but the judge left the court without comment after suspending the trial against the movie distributor.
Circuit judges are appointed for life and can be fired only by Congress. Kozinski had been mentioned as a possible Supreme Court candidate, but this graphic material on his Web site has opened questions about his fitness to serve on a high-profile obscenity case.
How many obscenity cases have come before him where he sent these offenders to jail?
This hypocrite judge is playing both sides of the fence and must feel he is above the law and has the power to send people to jail, all the while accused of committing similar offenses himself. He, of all people, should know better!
As is turns out, Judge Kozinski has been cleared with a warning by fellow judges in a decision made public July 2.
Big deal! I must be psychic! I knew that was going to be the outcome, as judges pass judgment on others but are sometimes exempt from the law that the “little people” must follow. I’m not too keen on judges and have seen outright prejudice in a family law court pertaining to my own daughter’s divorce from hell.
Evidently, Susan Estrich, a Los Angeles-based syndicated columnist, didn’t see anything wrong with the judge’s behavior.
She wrote, “Should the judge excuse himself from presiding over the porn trial? Not in my book. Should the justice department move to disqualify him? I hope not.”
She goes on to say that the judge is one of the smartest and ablest judges on the federal bench, an upstanding citizen and the son of Holocaust survivors.
The point I’m making here is that he has sent people to jail on obscenity charges for posting explicit sexual material. I’m not defending pornography and any of the filth that is all over the Internet under the guise of freedom of speech. I can judge, too, when I see a judge’s behavior is not up to par.
The next time someone comes before him on obscenity charges, though, he should look in the mirror before passing judgment.
• William Sutton is an author, retired windmill mechanic and 30-year Tracy resident.