#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.
#1. The Judge Who Knew Jack Shit About Law
The various strikes against Georgia judge Kenneth E. Fowler are almost too numerous to list. Among the most astounding failures cited by a judicial commission was a consistent failure to grasp the most basic legal concepts, which often, for instance, resulted in him proclaiming defendants guilty until proven innocent. The judge was also notoriously inappropriate with language, drawing fire from the NAACP for racially charged language and raising eyebrows with such poetic flourishes as, "God damn, you asking for trouble" and "Shut up."
When a female defendant sat before him over a traffic violation, the judge insinuated that she used sex to escape punishment, saying, "You must have really turned it on. You must be something good. You must have really showed [the officer] a good time."
Fowler also appeared to have no concept of evidence, allegedly convicting people without testimony and with as little evidence as the notes on a traffic ticket. He also told defendants they could buy their way out of community service by paying him a fee, an option curiously absent from the law.
He kept the proceeds in his community chest.
Fowler's defense for all of this? He was acting out of ignorance. After all, he never studied law.
The judges presiding over his trial were unmoved by the rather circular defense that Fowler was incompetent by reason of incompetence and threw the book at him (too bad he couldn't read it). The court fined, disbarred, and banned him for life. See? You can't get away with shit like this. Well, you can for a while -- Fowler was a judge for almost a decade before he finally got the boot.
Related Reading: Oh, these aren't the only terrible judges we've managed to collect. This guy threatened to jail an entire courtroom because of one dude's phone. And this lady dedicated her career to making the Bronx more dangerous. Before you get all high and mighty yourself, read about the stupid things YOU use to judge people and wash it down with a humble pie milkshake.
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