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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submissions are always welcome. Email your essay to email@example.com.
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
In the spirit of togetherness and sharing, we made Reflections from the Bench a group effort this month, asking judges to share their stories about judging over the holidays. We received more than a dozen stories, including one mirroring the plot of Miracle on 34th Street. Many other judges shared stories about releasing inmates over the holidays—some with positive outcomes,
By Hon. Deborah Culler
I’ve sat on the bench for 25 years—but it’s probably not the bench you are thinking of.
By Hon. David Certo
Reggie kept his eyes fixed on his shoes and answered my questions in a voice barely louder than a whisper. Defendants often act deferential and docile, but I’d never seen a Marine sound this defeated before.
By Hon. Tammy F. Marple
I was the magistrate on call one morning when a young man I recognized was brought before me in an initial appearance. He had been a classmate with my oldest son. He was charged with DUI.