Judge Edith Jones, former chief judge of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and a very big name in conservative legal circles (big enough to be on the short list for a Supreme Court nomination during the Bush administration), has been hit with an ethics complaint over remarks she allegedly made at an address at a law school. Among the accusations:
That certain “racial groups like African Americans and Hispanics are predisposed to crime,” are “’prone’ to commit acts of violence,” and get involved in more violent and “heinous” crimes than people of other ethnicities;
That Mexican nationals would prefer to be on death row in the United States rather than serving prison terms in Mexico, and it is an insult for the United States to look to the laws of other countries such as Mexico;
That Defendants’ claims of racism, innocence, arbitrariness, and violations of international law and treaties are really nothing more than “red herrings” used by opponents of capital punishment;
That claims of “mental retardation” by capital defendants disgust her, and the fact such persons were convicted of a capital crime is itself sufficient to prove they are not in fact “mentally retarded”; and
That the imposition of a death sentence provides a positive service to capital-case defendants because defendants are likely to make peace with God only in the moment before their imminent execution.
I haven’t seen the text of the complaint and I’d like to know what the evidence is for these allegations. If they have a recording or multiple sources who were at the event that can attest to those statements, that’s pretty damaging.
Like Dispatches on Facebook: