Friday, December 08, 2006

Judge Sloop gets fired

Orlando Sentinel reports:
The Florida Supreme Court today ordered Seminole County Judge John Sloop removed from the bench.

Sloop is the judge who ordered 11 people jailed because they went to the wrong courtroom by mistake. ...

Sloop blamed the ordeal, which happened in Sanford Dec. 3, 2004, on an undiagnosed case of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, something two psychiatrists testified that he truly did suffer from. ...

If his only mistake had been locking up those 11 people, the justices might have allowed him to keep his job, the court wrote.

But it also reviewed a video of a hearing a few weeks earlier at which Sloop launched into a long, loud abusive tirade against a woman who hadn't paid a $214 fine for 10 years.

Sloop testified that he hadn't lost his temper with the woman, that it was all an act designed to get her to pay, and it had worked.
I think that it is great to fire a judge for jailing 11 people like that for such a frivolous reason, but that last item is strange. I've seen judges go into abusive tirades over minor matters, and I cannot tell if the judge has lost his temper or not.

I get the impression that judges are sent to training seminars where they are taught to treat adults like misbehaving 4-year-olds. When a 4-year-old runs into the street, a parent will often fake anger in order to make an impression on the kid. Judges can similarly lecture someone over something more trivial than a parking ticket.

It is amusing that he used shrinks to make excuses for him. I wonder how often he accepted such lame excuses as a judge.

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