Judge Proctor for his defense | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Judge Proctor for his defense

Posted By on Thu, Jan 14, 2010 at 11:44 AM

Circuit Judge Willard Proctor appeared before the state Supreme Court today in his appeal of a disciplinary panel's recommendation that he be removed for multiple ethical violations, particularly in operation of the Cycle Breakers probation program that he created.

Proctor's motives were pure, he said. Nobody has really questioned his motives, though there's some circumstantial evidence to support it. It's his actions as a sitting judge that were the problem. Such as creating a debtors' prison for people who didn't pay required fees to his organization, which spent some of its money on the judge. Taking a probationer into his home wasn't a good idea either, no matter his motives.

My ears in the courtroom said the questioning from the justices wasn't particularly aggressive in any direction and mostly dealt with objections Proctor raised to the disciplinary procedure. Justice Donald Corbin at one time apparently remarked that Proctor had only procedural issues to work with, not the underlying facts.

Proctor handled his entire defense, though a couple of lawyer joined him at the hearing. Several prominent black lawyers attended the proceeding, including John Walker, Austin Porter and R. S. McCullough.

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