3Multiple Judges Pulled Guns from the Bench
We have to admit, being a judge probably means constantly wishing you could circumvent all the convoluted legal crap and just whip out a gun. In fact, it's mostly the ability to resist that impulse that qualifies a person to be a judge in the first place. But don't tell that to Florida judge J. Leonard Fleet, who pulled a .38-caliber revolver on a defendant when the man made unruly comments in the courtroom.
Win McNamee/Getty Images News/Getty Images
His Second Amendment right.
To be fair, those comments were "If I had a gun, I'd kill that judge." Still, a calmer, saner man would have responded to the remark by charging the guy with contempt of court and getting him out of the room. But Judge Fleet was neither a sane nor a calm man. Witnesses reported seeing him place a single bullet in the chamber before uttering, "There's one bullet in the cylinder. Do you want to take your best shot? If you're going to take a shot, you had better score, because I don't miss." Then he calmly left the loaded gun on the bench for the rest of the morning session, just so everyone would realize he was batshit insane.
Clearly Fleet's courtroom theatrics were out of line, but this was back in the lawless days of 1992 (and it was Florida), so we can maybe give him a pass. We certainly wouldn't find that kind of behavior going on in 2013. It did, however, occur in 2012. In what was perhaps the world's worst attempt at advice-giving, Georgia judge David Barrett pulled his gun on a witness when he decided her testimonial skills were lacking. "You might as well shoot your lawyer," he suggested.
GA Daily News
"If brandishing guns and threatening lawyers is against the law, throw my ass in jail."
We should have mentioned that this woman was testifying as a victim of sexual assault and that her assailant once held a gun to her head. As you probably imagine, Barrett's behavior did not sit well with the other judges, and an inquiry, complete with finger-wagging, followed. The judge, apparently unable to take being in the hot seat himself, opted to resign rather than face continued scrutiny over his disastrous communicative style.
2 Judge Cynthia Brim Is Clinically and Unstoppably Insane
In 2012, the Chicago Tribune complained to its readership that Cook County voters had once again elected Cynthia Brim to serve as a judge, which seems like a petty thing for a big-time newspaper to do. After all, this is how democracy works -- sometimes the people you don't like get elected by the masses. What was so awful about Cynthia Brim?
Did she hack the Tribune paywall?
How about multiple hospitalizations, courtroom meltdowns, a 5-mile freedom march to protest unfair news coverage, and refusing to take necessary antipsychotic drugs, for starters? Not to mention that she's been found legally insane in a court of law, unaccountable in court for shoving a deputy because at the time she was allegedly "absolutely psychotic in the sense of not having the ability to think straight or to even organize her thinking or to really remember a darn thing that happened." In short, it would appear that Cynthia Brim is unmistakably unqualified for another six-year stint as a Cook County judge.
You may be wondering what arcane trickery is duping Cook County voters into dopily choosing a patient from Nurse Ratched's ward to decide court cases. It's basically the same ball-tripping hallucinogenic that turns every city into a rubber room: complacency and politics.
Things only look like they're moving, brah.
See, not a single judge in Cook County has been replaced in more than two decades, and as the Chicago Tribune noted in the complaint no one read, voters received robocalls from the county board president instructing them to vote for every Democratic judge on the ballot. Voters mechanically obeyed (do YOU follow every judge election on the ballot?) and thus swept the crazy lady back into office along with the rest. A job for which she will be paid $182,000 a year.