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Thursday, April 26, 2012

State Appeals Court Judge Arrested on DUI Charges

Appeals court judge arrested on DUI charges
WSMV/NBC by Dennis Ferrier  -  April 24, 2012

KNOXVILLE, TN (WSMV) - A Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals judge, who works in Nashville, was arrested Monday night on driving under the influence charges in Knoxville. Officers said they spotted Judge Jerry L. Smith driving a car that had its trunk open with luggage about to fall out. When officers pulled Smith over, they said he smelled of alcohol, had slurred speech and couldn't perform a sobriety test. Smith was appointed in 1995 to the Court of Criminal Appeals. Before that, he worked as the deputy state attorney general. As a criminal court of appeals judge, Smith could very likely hear appeal cases involving DUIs, and for that reason alone some judicial reformists say Judge Smith should step down. "The prosecutor is very conflicted in this case. He has got to prosecute other DUI cases that could be appealed to his very courtroom," said Janice Johnson, a judicial reformist and lobbyist. But the Tennessee Supreme Court told Channel 4 that even if convicted, Judge Smith would still be allowed to hear cases. Any judge convicted of any misdemeanor in Tennessee is not barred in any way. Janice Johnson says Judge Smith should be removed by the one entity in Tennessee that has the power to do so.  "A DUI is minor, however, judges should be held to a higher standard. The question is who holds them to a higher standard. And the answer is our legislature is supposed to hold them to a higher standard," Johnson said. "The problem is our legislature does not have the political will to do so."  It should be noted that the Tennessee legislature hasn't removed a judge in 18 years, and it is an action that almost never happens.


fed up said...

Another dumb state who hasn't removed a judge in a long time. Too long of a time. Start pulling the bums off the bench.

Anonymous said...

Whenever these politicians are given an option of doing nothing, that's what happens.

They should just make it mandatory that when a judge or attorney commits a crime, they forfeit the right to practice law, or have anything to do with adjudicating cases.

This is just another reason they need to put citizens on these panels. And the panel should be from a different part of the state. These people are too cozy with each other.

Rat Catcher said...

The NY State Senate and Cuomo can remove judges, too. The Senate and Cuomo know of the corruption and have chosen to do nothing. This is copied from NY Constitution: §23. a.Judges of the court of appeals and justices of the supreme court may be removed by concurrent resolution of both houses of the legislature, if two-thirds of all the members elected to each house concur therein.
b. Judges of the court of claims, the county court, the surrogate's court, the family court, the courts for the city of New York established pursuant to section fifteen of this article, the district court and such other courts as the legislature may determine may be removed by the senate,on the recommendation of the governor, if two-thirds of all the members elected to the senate concur therein.

Anonymous said...

if he is convicted of a misdameaner he can still hear cases
so why dont they just put vodka in the water cooler
What will his nickname nickname be judge that party`s

jails4judges said...

What happened to professional courtesy, here in NY this type of situation goes on all the time, no big deal! The judge would not have been charged, he would have walked plain and simple!

Anonymous said...

I worked for a Judge who made his own liquor and had it in his office cabinet where he drank it everyday with his court reporter....who doubled as his girlfriend.
I found this out when I had some pain and they cracked open the bottle and said try this. It was so potent that I dumped it, as they asked me what I thought about their home made concoction.
Since that time they both asked me if I could smell it on the Judges breath after he walked over to me after he gargled mouthwash.
NY Judges have provided stories for a NY Best seller hands up..and I am not finished with the tales or tails!

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