The Proctor case | Arkansas Blog

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Proctor case

Posted By on Fri, Nov 7, 2008 at 9:00 AM

The investigation against Circuit Judge Willard Proctor got broad coverage from TV and newspapers, deservedly.

But there's a problem. He's still on the bench. He's still using an out-of-control private probation operation, directed by him. He's likely still sending people to jail who've committed no crime -- all without statutory or constitutional authority. Think about that again: Jail terms for people who failed to pay dubious financial obligations to a private entity a judge controls. If it's not a crime, it should be. If it's not a violation of these people's rights, it would surprise me.

Action is needed NOW. Not in a year or so when the disciplinary process finally reaches the inevitable conclusion that Proctor should be removed from the bench.

At a minimum, there's no longer a justification for the state Supreme Court to keep under seal Proctor's legal action attempting to quash the investigation by the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission.

If you thought yesterday's reading was hair-raising, wait until you see the evidence proffered to the court in behalf of a suspension of Proctor from handling criminal cases while the disciplinary proceeding continued.

Since the investigation is now out in the open, the Supreme Court should open the file.

To quote the Arkansas and U.S. Supreme Court:

The public has a "compelling interest" in open judicial proceedings -- Arkansas Best Corp., 317 Ark. at 247

"One of the basic principles of a democracy is the people have a right to know what is done in their courts."  -- Ark. Dept. of Human Services v. Hardy, 316 Ark. 119, 871 S.W.2d 352 (1994)

"...when public court business is conducted in private, it becomes impossible to expose corruption, incompetence, inefficiency, prejudice and favoritism. For this reason, traditional Anglo-American jurisprudence distrusts secrecy in judicial proceedings and favors a policy of maximum public access to proceedings and records of judicial tribunals." -- Shepherd v. Maxwell, 384 U.S. 333 (196)

The court perhaps -- and rightly -- is embarrassed that it had an earlier opportunity to put a stop to Proctor's extralegal operation but failed to do so.

 

 

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Two more get prison for feeding program fraud

    Two more people got prison sentences today for defrauding the state-run program that uses federal money to provide meals to poor children.
    • Aug 18, 2017
  • Friday's open line

    Here's today's video. And it is the open line.
    • Aug 18, 2017
  • Steve Bannon leaving White House

    The odious Steve Bannon, right-wing nationalist, is departing his White House job as strategist for Donald Trump.  Alas, Trump is still there.
    • Aug 18, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Al Gore remembers Dale Bumpers

    Former Vice President Al Gore, a former U.S. Senate colleague of Dale Bumpers, sent a statement on Bumpers' death Friday:
    • Jan 3, 2016
  • Two plead in fraud of sheriff's office

    A former employee of the Pulaski County sheriff and a North Little Rock woman who sold goods to the sheriff's office have pleaded guilty to mail fraud in a scheme to steal from the sheriff's office, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney's office.
    • May 16, 2017
  • In Little Rock, Marco Rubio sells American exceptionalism

    This is Rubio's axiomatic answer to Donald Trump's insistence that he and he alone will Make America Great Again: America is the greatest, always has been.
    • Feb 22, 2016

Most Shared

  • Take yourself there: Mavis Staples coming to LR for Central High performance

    Gospel and R&B singer and civil rights activist Mavis Staples, who has been inspiring fans with gospel-inflected freedom songs like "I'll Take You There" and "March Up Freedom's Highway" and the poignant "Oh What a Feeling" will come to Little Rock for the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the desegregation of Central High.
  • Klan's president

    Everything that Donald Trump does — make that everything that he says — is calculated to thrill his lustiest disciples. But he is discovering that what was brilliant for a politician is a miscalculation for a president, because it deepens the chasm between him and most Americans.
  • On Charlottesville

    Watching the Charlottesville spectacle from halfway across the country, I confess that my first instinct was to raillery. Vanilla ISIS, somebody called this mob of would-be Nazis. A parade of love-deprived nerds marching bravely out of their parents' basements carrying tiki torches from Home Depot.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation