Judge Lets Defendant Out Back Door to Evade ICE
There's no doubt about it. Our world is as political as it has ever been. And with all that politics, there's bound to be antics, but rarely do judge's play an active role.
However, in one Massachusetts courtroom, one judge is alleged to have responded in an unusual way when she learned that ICE agents were waiting to arrest a defendant when he left her courtroom. According to reports, she allowed the defendant to be released from custody and then let out the back door of the courthouse. ICE agents that gave chase claim to have seen the man running and jumping over a fence.
Unfortunately for ICE agents, state courts have not been too keen on agents arresting defendants and witnesses inside or just outside courtrooms and courthouses. A big part of that hesitancy to work with ICE stems from the chilling effect allowing such conduct can have on participation in the justice system. When undocumented defendants, witnesses and parties are afraid to come to court because they fear arrest from ICE, citizens and other lawful residents suffer the consequences of wasted judicial (public) resources and ineffective justice.
Tragically for the Boston judge that pulled a Boston Legal style move and let the defendant out the back door, she's now under investigation and it has been requested by the governor that she stop handing criminal matters while the investigation is pending. The judge's case may not look good, as there is a recording that confirms she knew ICE was outside her court, and that she would not allow them in her courtroom, and then, apparently, the recording goes silent.
While court is usually a pretty serious place where serious things happen, and though this case is surely pretty serious, what this judge did is absolutely hilarious and if it isn't repeated in several courtroom dramas over the next few years, then, frankly, legal dramas will be letting us down.
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