Reflections from the Bench
Personal essays by your fellow judges (active or retired) talking about their experiences in the judiciary. Have an idea for an essay? Email it to email@example.com.
By Hon. James M. Redwine
A syllogism: All sentient humans have learned, implicit biases, all judges are sentient human beings, ergo, all judges have implicit biases. The issue is not whether judges are biased. The issue is how judges can guard the people affected by the judge from her/his particular biases.
Reflections from the Bench: Not exactly how I remember it: Returning to regular trial duties 20 years after retiring
By Hon. Jess B. Clanton Jr.
It wasn’t unfamiliar territory.
I had worked as a judge in rural Oklahoma for more than 21 years, 18 as a general jurisdiction judge. On most days, I was the only judge in the courthouse in a county of about 14,000 people.
I “retired” 20 years ago but since then had filled in for judges who were
By Hon. Evelyn Baker (Ret.)
This piece originally appeared in the opinion section of The Washington Post. It is republished here with permission from the author.
“You will die in the Department of Corrections.” Those are the words I spoke as a trial judge in 1997 when I sentenced Bobby Bostic to a total of 241 years in prison for his
Submissions are always welcome. Email your essay to firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Linda Strite Murnane, Colonel, USAF, Ret.
I served my last 10 years of a 29.5-year military career as a military trial judge. A day in my life usually began with packing a suitcase. U.S. military trial judges are assigned through a system of circuits or centralized location, and are then
By Hon. Dennis Challeen (Ret.)
Excuses are the everyday language of the irresponsible. It should not surprise anyone that courtrooms are the meeting place for creative excuses. Through the years I’ve heard almost every kind of excuse imaginable, but there are always new ones; losers become quite creative in trying to avoid being responsible in order to direct blame elsewhere rather than