xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

If police must be transparent, so should judges

The Clarence M. Mitchell Courthouse on Calvert Street. Judges disciplinary actions will remain private under a recent ruling.
The Clarence M. Mitchell Courthouse on Calvert Street. Judges disciplinary actions will remain private under a recent ruling. (Baltimore Sun photo by Gene Sweeney Jr.)

So, the process where The Commission on Judicial Disabilities, the state’s judicial discipline panel, could issue public reprimands, is to be changed (“New discipline rules will keep reprimands of Maryland judges private,” July 17). Now, all reprimands by the commission will be private. How interesting! If all of their reprimands are to remain private, who will oversee the integrity of that system? How will the public know if the system is working. Whose word must we accept?

If the police are expected to publicly report on disciplinary actions, how and why should judges be treated any differently? It is a fact that in many instances false reports have been made concerning police conduct. These reports must be investigated, and they are investigated. When a determination has been made that the report is in fact false, no other action is taken by the investigating officers. In other words, the agency condones the public making false allegations against its officers, which by the way happens to be a crime. Why are these false accusations not prosecuted? During my time on the force, the excuse for not prosecuting these false allegations was that the department did not want to discourage the public from reporting police misconduct. Why is it acceptable for the police to encourage, by their refusal to obey their oath to enforce the law, more costly and grossly unfair and false investigations? I personally knew one officer who became physically ill in anticipation of the results of an allegation that he knew to be false.

Advertisement

What is sauce for the goose, should be sauce for the gander. If information concerning disciplinary actions taken against individual officers are allowed to be reviewed and publicly published, so should those made against the judges. In the hierarchy of the criminal justice (non) system, the judges occupy a higher position of prominence. (I don’t necessarily agree with that either). If sunlight is the great disinfectant, why not disinfect everyone?

Bob Di Stefano, Abingdon

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement