Judge Etta Mullin Has Been Thrifty with County's Money, But Attorneys Say It Comes at a Price

Categories: Campaign News

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When a few Dallas cops arrested a woman hanging out in the 4300 block of Colonial Avenue last year, it seemed obvious they weren't catching a criminal who had a ton of money.

Officers Charles Moreland and Clayton Edwards were working undercover on March 28 when they came across Amber Buford. Moreland and Buford got into a conversation. The conversation moved fast, at least according to an arrest report: "During the conversation the suspect knowingly: agreed to sexual conduct sexual intercourse with said officer for a fee paid: directly to the suspect by the officer."

The officers arrested Buford on a prostitution charge. But that wasn't the end of her troubles. Buford's case ended up in the courtroom of County Judge Etta J. Mullin, who has built a reputation on being the thriftiest judge in Dallas County. She is up for re-election in the Democratic primary on Tuesday.

Mullin is what critics call "a bill collector instead of a judge," in the words of Lisa Green, one of the two Democrats running against Mullin.

Buford couldn't afford an attorney, so Judge Mullin ruled she was indigent. Mullin assigned her a private lawyer named Jose Noriega, as is the standard procedure.

From then on, the case should have been fairly painless. Buford agreed to plead guilty under a deal with the district attorney's office, records show.

But it quickly soured. Judge Mullin wouldn't accept the deal, according to Noriega. Why? The case file doesn't explain, other than listing a $267 bill for court costs. In an interview, Buford's attorney claims that Judge Mullin had demanded that Buford make that $267 payment in one lump sum, even though she "couldn't rub two nickels to save her life," Noriega says.

But without the money upfront, there would be no plea deal, Noriega says. Instead, records show that Mullin scheduled Buford for a jury trial the following month, even though neither side wanted to waste time on a jury trial.

On October 16, the date of jury selection, Mullin finally allowed prosecutors and Buford have their original plea deal. The trial was off.

But the experience left a bitter taste in Noriega's mouth. "I've stopped accepting appointments in her court," he says.

Judge Mullin has built a reputation on bringing much more money to the county than any other criminal judge, but attorneys describe her as someone who cares more about her numbers than the people she's supposed to be serving.

Mullin was elected to County Criminal Court 5, a non-violent misdemeanor court, in 2010. Though she faces two Democratic opponents in the primary (in addition to Green, criminal defense attorney Trey Bunch is also running) it is Mullin's campaign that's enjoying support from top local Democrats.

Mullin has yet to respond to numerous messages we left to her private and campaign email addresses and with her court coordinator. In campaign literature, she lists support from politicians such as Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, state Senator Royce West and County Commissioner John Wiley Price. "According to a recent Dallas County judicial management report, Judge Mullin operates the #1 most efficient misdemeanor court," Mullin's campaign wrote in a recent email to voters.

The email doesn't provide a link to that report, but Mullin appears to be referencing a budget report released last September by the Dallas County Commissioners Court. It shows that Mullin raised more revenue for the county in the past fiscal year than any other criminal judge. She also had the lowest operating expenses, ultimately bringing in a net revenue of $507,044. She more than doubled the amount collected by the No. 2 net-revenue-maker, Judge Tina Yoo.

How she's made those savings has pissed off many attorneys.

In a poll released last year by the Dallas Criminal Bar Association, 89 percent of attorneys ranked Mullin's overall performance in the "needs improvement" category, the lowest option available. (The next least popular criminal judge has only 26 percent of attorneys thinking the same.)

How can a judge be first in financials but dead last in popularity? For starters, it's her demand for payments upfront from clients. In the Buford case, in which the client was found indigent, trying to ask for a payment up front would be unconstitutional, says Texas Civil Rights Project director Jim Harrington.

"You can't do that. That's ridiculous," Harrington says. "Usually what's typically done is that there's a schedule set up, and then if that person can't meet that schedule, then the judge has to set another schedule."

In 2012, DWI attorney Lee Bright filed a motion asking that one of his cases be moved out of Mullin's court. Why? Mullin had set a $1,000 bond for one of his clients, Bright said, and would only accept cash. Bright countered that his client couldn't pay a full grand at that exact moment. Instead, he wanted his client to have the option pay a $1,000 surety bond, which allows payment in installments.

Bright said that Mullin denied his request, refused to lower the cash amount, "and further conveyed to Mr. Bright that the defendant could either pay the $1,000 cash bond, sit in jail until trial or that Mr. Bright could pay the bond amount personally."

Beyond financials, Mullin has also managed to annoy lawyers in more basic ways. In her first few years in office, she appeared to keep her operating costs low by not hiring a a court coordinator. That's the person who attorneys typically deal with on minor issues, like scheduling hearings. Without a court coordinator, her savings came at the expense of the private criminal defense attorneys in her court, who would then have to spend hours trying to get cases scheduled.

"I've been practicing law in Dallas for 32 years, and she's the most inefficient and inconsiderate judge that I can recall having," says John Gioffredi, a DWI attorney.

Mullin now has a court coordinator in place, but as far as clients in her court are concerned, the damage is done. Gioffredi recently created an informal poll specifically about Mullin on Survey Monkey, a web-based survey company, and emailed it out to about 100 local criminal defense attorneys. Of the people who filled it out, half reported that they charge clients extra if she's the judge in their case.

Tom Hooton, another DWI attorney, says he once sat for a full day in Mullin's court. After five hours of waiting, "she got up off the bench and left and never came back." There was no explanation. He got a court date finally when he returned the next day.

For other attorneys, their beef with Mullin is more personal. In 2012, when a few attorneys waited in line to speak with Mullin, she accused a few of them of laughing at her. Concerned, one of those attorneys, a DWI lawyer named John Corn, sent Mullin a letter trying to patch things up. "No one -- certainly not a single lawyer who stood in line with me on that day -- was laughing at you," Corn wrote in the letter. "To the contrary, we were amusing ourselves during what felt like an interminable wait."

Corn went on: "You frequently demean and belittle lawyers -- most egregiously, in front of clients and others. Tearing up pass slips and telling lawyers to go to the end of the line, for instance. You demand that lawyers approach the bench and concert with you on every single setting in a case, and this often takes an inordinate amount of time ... and, in this depression, when clients have little money, you don't allow enough time for lawyers to collect their fee before final disposition."

And attorneys who stand up to her say that they run the risk of sabotaging their cases. Criminal defense attorney Brady Wyatt was in Mullin's court in April 2012, representing a woman named Heidi Amos facing DWI charges. The attorney and judge got in a spat about scheduling, Wyatt wrote in a motion, and the spat seemed to carry over to Amos.

Mullin had accused the client of interlock violations, or simply put, finding ways to avoid the breath-testing device that the county placed in her car so it would not start if she'd been drinking.

But Amos had actually been out of town and wasn't using her car while she was gone, Wyatt countered in court documents. Wyatt asked the judge to give Amos a chance to explain. But the judge wouldn't have it, he says. "Judge Mullin stated that she did not care what my client had to say and that she was not sure whom to believe, so she was going to put a SCRAM device on my client," Wyatt wrote in a motion asking to have the case moved to a different court.

"She doesn't like me and she doesn't like the fact that I challenged her," Wyatt said.

For many private defense attorneys, it's pretty easy to speak out against Mullin. They work for themselves and aren't employed by the government, so they can afford to stop taking cases in her court. But the Public Defender's Office, which is employed by the county, has also managed to stay out of Mullin's court, records show. The agency didn't respond to interview requests, but email records provide a clue into what went wrong.

"I am concerned about the quality of the representation of our clients based on the excessive case loads and the working conditions of the attorneys in your court due to the absence of a coordinator," Chief Public Defender Lynn Pride Richardson wrote to Mullin in 2011.

Following emails show that the case load only increased later that month, four days later. On May 31, Richardson complained that the the two public defenders in Mullin's court were handling about 150 cases, three times the typical load.

In response, Mullin said that from then on, she would just stop assigning any cases at all to the public defender's office. "Unfortunately, you leave me with no other choice," Mullin responded to Richardson.

This means that anyone who is broke and ends up in Mullin's court will be now assigned a court-appointed attorney, who is private, rather than anyone from the public defender's office. For clients, this move probably won't make a difference in the quality of their representation, attorneys say.

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60 comments
rockfish153
rockfish153

I used to work as a bail bondsman in Dallas county for seven years, and I have never met a mite incompetent, obnoxious, and corrupt judge in my entire career.

rockfish153
rockfish153

I used to work as a bail bondsman in Dallas county for seven years, and I have never met a more incompetent, obnoxious, and corrupt judge in my entire career.

sandypaul40
sandypaul40

I AM A PRECINCT CHAIR AND I WAS HANDING OUT CARDS FOR ONE OF JUDGE MULLINS OPPONENTS. SHE GAVE  ME DIRTY LOOKS AND FOLLOWED ME TO ALL THE VOTERS I SPOKE AND GAVE A CARD TO.WHEN I LEFT ONE LADY ETTA APPROCHED  HER AND  S AID DO NOT VOTE FOR THAT PERSON THE CARD THAT LADY ( MEANING ME ) IS HANDING OUT. I AM THE ONE YOU SHOULD VOTE FOR...IN MY OPINION THIS IS NOT GOOD CONDUCT FOR AN INCUMBENT JUDGE TO BE SO RUDE AND MEAN TO  THOSE  HANDING OUT CARDS TO THE VOTERS. I AM SUPPORTING LISA GREEN FOR THE JUDGE POSITION AND SHE IS VERY RESPECTFUL AND QUALIFIED TO BEAT ETTA OUT OF HER JUDICIAL SEAT,,VOTE LISA GREEN, A JUDGE WHOM WE CAN ALL RESPECT AND BE PRODE OF,,SANDY PAUL PRECINCT CHAIR 1037..

jcgreen59
jcgreen59

In reading this article, it does appear Judge Mullins is acting under the auspices to appease John Wiley Price. Judge Mullins is implementing innovative strategies to hold violators accountable. In this County, people that have often utilized tax payer monies in the form of using a public defender, or court appointed attorney often leave this jurisdiction without paying their court cost, and in some cases fine. Therefore, I can see Judge Mullins innovative strategy, pay the fine and court cost upfront that has nothing to do with John Wiley Price, that is Judge Mullins doing her job as an elected official. The previous readers accusations needs to be supported with credible substantive evidence rather than mere opinionated speculations of what may or may not be Judge Mullins reasoning. This readers opinion is that Judge Mullins will prevail in the run off and continue to improve the internal controls of County Government with innovative approaches. In conclusion, one thing I have taken notice of with dissenting African Americans, they don't look into the 21st century of strategic practices and methodologies, and when they confront such implementation of organizational designs they levy insidious accusations that holds no merits.

jcgreen59
jcgreen59

In reading this article, it does appear Judge Mullins is acting under the auspices to appease John Wiley Price. Judge Mullins is implementing innovative strategies to hold violators accountable. In this County, people that have often utilized tax payer monies in the form of using a public defender, or court appointed attorney often leave this jurisdiction without paying their court cost, and in some cases fine. Therefore, I can see Judge Mullins innovative strategy, pay the fine and court cost upfront that has nothing to do with John Wiley Price, that is Judge Mullins doing her job as an elected official. The previous readers accusations needs to be supported with credible substantive evidence rather than mere opinionated speculations of what may or may not be Judge Mullins reasoning. This readers opinion is that Judge Mullins will prevail in the run off and continue to improve the internal controls of County Government with innovative approaches. In conclusion, one thing I have taken notice of with dissenting African Americans, they don't look into the 21st century of strategic practices and methodologies, and when they confront such implementation of organizational designs they levy insidious accusations that holds no merits.

bettyculbreath
bettyculbreath

Etta Mullins somehow thinks she has a duty to Commissioner Price to save the County money and raise money to help County budget however that is crazy.How can you not use Public Defenders office which is cheaper that private Attorneys and think you are saving money, how can you declare a Defendant indigent appoint them an Attorney at County expense and then ask for $300.00 dollars prior to hearing their case? Something is wrong with that thinking. Judge Mullins who I supported in the past has her priorities confused she is a Judge not the Dallas County budget Officer. Vote Lisa Green in run off.     

unclesamuel1776
unclesamuel1776

BVCKVS - You're an idiot.  You might want to have some personal experience with a person before you start pontificating on what your emotion tells you to say. This woman is a bad judge, ignorant of the law, rude, inconsiderate and wholly incompetent. 

Also, check a 2005 article from, I believe, Texas Monthly.  Only a few years out of law school, she received over $200,000 in appointments from one of the county criminal courts, only two years after receiving only $5,000 in appointments from the same court. 

The judge in the court at the time (whom I will leave nameless) said that she was not receiving special treatment and that she was not his girlfriend.  An interesting statement considering that the question was never asked of him.  I don't know how he classifies his relationships, and she may not have been his girlfriend, but she did have his baby.

That's the type of person this is.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

Personally, I like the fact that she shifts costs off of taxpayers and onto criminals.  It saves good people money, and provides a disincentive to criminals. 

And since there's nothing illegal about it - I say gofer it. 


WylieH
WylieH

She's very bad news...

Dallasdemocrat
Dallasdemocrat

Sure the attorneys hate working in her court, but let's stop and think about the defendants who sit ALL DAY and wait for her wrath. The defendants who have to pay their attorney 3x the normal rate. She is a tyrant.

cinesimonj
cinesimonj

@jcgreen59 In other words, you believe in a guilty, no trial system. And you believe that poor people have barely any right to basic constitutional rights. I suggest you move to Russia - you're definitely Putin's kind of person.

One thing I have noticed with childish white supremacists, is that you tend to brush away reality, and decide for yourself what is actually happening in front of you. Because your very own eyes are lying, racist eyes! Right, kiddo?

averykenneth
averykenneth

Excellent and very well stated.... Most probably have the funds or some way to get it...because of business as usual. ..feet feel they can 'continue' to skirt with no real implications. Good read.

averykenneth
averykenneth

Unfortunately, PD office is full of non - credible excuses such as many of their clients. ....strange. ..somehow clients manage to come up with funds when backed against the wall. Hmm.

jcgreen59
jcgreen59

@bettyculbreath In reading this article, it does appear Judge Mullins is acting under the auspices to appease John Wiley Price. Judge Mullins is implementing innovative strategies to hold violators accountable. In this County, people that have often utilized tax payer monies in the form of using a public defender, or court appointed attorney often leave this jurisdiction without paying their court cost, and in some cases fine. Therefore, I can see Judge Mullins innovative strategy, pay the fine and court cost upfront that has nothing to do with John Wiley Price, that is Judge Mullins doing her job as an elected official. The previous readers accusations needs to be supported with credible substantive evidence rather than mere opinionated speculations of what may or may not be Judge Mullins reasoning. This readers opinion is that Judge Mullins will prevail in the run off and continue to improve the internal controls of County Government with innovative approaches. In conclusion, one thing I have taken notice of with dissenting African Americans, they don't look into the 21st century of strategic practices and methodologies, and when they confront such implementation of organizational designs they levy insidious accusations that holds no merits.

averykenneth
averykenneth

When you verbally attack someone in this manner....name ALL of the players.....otherwise, shhh.

cinesimonj
cinesimonj

@bvckvs What you mean is, you like that poor people don't get access to actual justice and basic constitutional protections. Piss off to Russia, you childish little authoritarian.

veruszetec
veruszetec

@bvckvs  You mean she shifts costs off taxpayers to the indicted. They're only criminals once convicted, which, given her circus court, is likely, regardless of their actual guilt.

I'm amazed that you seem to forget that everyone is innocent until proven guilty in this country.

WhiteWhale
WhiteWhale

@bvckvs How much does she really save the system long term?  Yes she makes her office look good but by dragging things out are not some of the costs merely shifted?  And what about some mean spirited screw up costing the tax payers some where down the line.

StarPie
StarPie

Imagine the most petty, mean spirited bureaucrat that you've ever encountered - DMV, IRS, whatever. Someone who reveled in their ability to make your life miserable. Ask yourself if that's the person you want doling out "justice" in your hometown.

ruddski
ruddski

Well that seals it. Support from "top democrats", EBJ, JWP et al. Now bvcks.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@WylieH

Yeah - if you're a hooker, drug dealer, gun runner, pimp, junkie or car thief.

cinesimonj
cinesimonj

@jcgreen59 @bettyculbreath So you agree that judges shouldn't actually be judges, but they should merely be all about saving money and ensuring poor people get no justice.

Right. Gotta love how you childish white supremacists claim to know all those African Americans so well. 

bettyculbreath
bettyculbreath

@jcgreen59 @bettyculbreath  Judge Mullins can't have it both ways the only people who use Public Defenders or Court Appointed Attorney are indigent ,that means they have no Money if Judge Mullins gives then an Appointed Attorney at County Taxpayers expense then how can she hold their Trial up until the Indigent person come up with $300.00 that theory clogs up the Court and County Jail it seems she is causing a problem not solving one.There are many ways to collect a Court cost fee.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@WhiteWhale @bvckvs

The answer to your first question is provided in the article - she saves us about a half million dollars per year, give or take a couple of dozen thousand.

To your second question, I answered that in my original post- she shifts the cost to the criminals and their lawyers.  I consider that a good thing.

As for your hypothetical that she might someday maybe cost taxpayers more - there's no evidence to support that speculation.  On the contrary, this judge has proved, time and again, that she knows just how harsh she can be, without breaking the rules.


bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@StarPie

I take exception to the phrase "doling out justice".  She's a judge, not a justice.  The difference is important. 

A justice deals with administrative law where nobody necessarily did anything wrong - like processing marriages and patents.. Those cases don't warrant harsh treatment.

She's a criminal court judge dealing with drug dealers, hookers, gun-runners and parole violators.  By the time someone appears before her, they've already proved that they have no respect for the law, so they must be made to fear it instead.  That being the case, those folks do warrant harsh treatment. 

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@Justthinking @bvckvs@gritsforbreakfast1

I have great respect for the legal profession - even when they place "odd" quotation marks around things that are not "quotations",

And I not only understand that "real people" are affected by her performance, I would be disappointed if her performance did not affect real people.

That said, the answer to your question ("how many citizens...?") can be found in the results of the election that put her into this job.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@gritsforbreakfast1 @bvckvs

I understand that's how YOU interpret the 8th amendment, but the American people as a whole have a different take on the matter - and have for hundreds of years.

Similarly, even though you see wrong-doing by this judge, no legitimate authority has ever accused her of any wrong-doing.

And just as important - she's doing this job this way at the pleasure of the voters who elected her.



Justthinking
Justthinking

@bvckvs @gritsforbreakfast1 Dear Sir, I have been a prosecutor in her court. I understand that my status as a lawyer may taint me in your eyes, but I hope you will agree that there are many "real" people (peace officers, jurors, and other witnesses) that are 'affected' by her policies. How many such citizens' disrespect merit $500,000/yr of savings in your eyes?

gritsforbreakfast1
gritsforbreakfast1

@bvckvs @gritsforbreakfast1Not sure why my first comment didn't shot up; if this repeats, my apology.


In any event, what I wrote was that $50x7 is GREATER than $250, not equal to it. Moreover, I said "weeks," not a week. People can wait in jail for months pretrial. So if someone stays in jail 60 days, for example, she'd have cost taxpayers $3,000 trying to collect $250. You're either profoundly ignorant or being willfully disingenuous.

Also, please point to the provision in the US Constitution that says it's "our policy to put these people in jail until trial unless they can come up with bail." The only reference is in the 8th Amendment which says bail must not be "excessive." In other words, it was NOT the founders intent that people remain in jail pretrial because they couldn't pay; they were explicitly critical of using jails that way.


You are truly clueless.

gritsforbreakfast1
gritsforbreakfast1

@bvckvs No, I said $50x7>$250, which is why her policies cost taxpayers money instead of save it Further, I said "weeks," not one week. People can await trial for months. If it's 60 days, for example, then she's forced the county to spend $3,000 to try to collect $250.


You are truly clueless.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@gritsforbreakfast1

It's funny that you say my comments are "profoundly ignorant" while you claim that $50x7 is only $250.

That bad math, as well as your use of cold war rhetoric and nym-shifting makes me disinclined to take you at your anonymous word of honor.

You also used the "innocent until proven guilty" concept incorrectly.  After all, it's always been our policy to put these people in jail until trial unless they can come up with bail.  It's even written into the US Constitution that we should do so.

The bottom line here is that everything this judge has done has been perfectly legal.  The only argument against her that's even close to reasonable is that she's not NICE enough to criminals and their lawyers.

gritsforbreakfast1
gritsforbreakfast1

@bvckvsYou're completely clueless. It costs $50-$60 per day to keep someone in jail. So jailing someone for weeks because of $250 in court costs means taxpayers pay MUCH more. Also have you ever heard the phrase "innocent until proven guilty"? Your comments sound like the jabberings of an apparatchik from Stalinist Russia. They must be guilty because the government accused them, right?


As for your comment that "I'm not swayed by other people's fear and uncertainty," I'm not afraid at all and I'm certain that your comments on this topic are utterly, profoundly ignorant.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@WhiteWhale @bvckvs

Since you ask what the numbers are, I encourage you to research the matter.

But I'm not swayed by other people's fear and uncertainty.

WhiteWhale
WhiteWhale

@bvckvs Does her court pay for the cost to jail someone while they await trial?  How much does it cost to store someone for a month or so before the trial?

cinesimonj
cinesimonj

@bvckvs In other words, you're not the type to bother paying attention, even to the most obvious of facts.

averykenneth
averykenneth

You're good @bvckvs ......this argument could on for hrs.....To the client and loved ones: Just how much do you love 'em.....pay it FOR them....

Chances are its NOT the 1st or last time they've appeared. ....

brentdgardner
brentdgardner

@WhiteWhale This is an excellent point. Upwards of one-third to over one-half of people arrested in some jurisdictions today aren't guilty of the crimes they are charged with.

brentdgardner
brentdgardner

@WhiteWhale This is an excellent point. Upwards of one-third to over one-half of people arrested today aren't guilty of the crimes they are charged with.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

@bvckvsI really need to save this quote and remind you of it in about, oh, half of your posts....


"You express a lot of uncertainty and hypotheticals - with no evidence to support it.  To rational people, those aren't convincing arguments."

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@WhiteWhale @bvckvs

It's not about me.  It's about a judge, elected by the people to try criminal cases.


bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@WhiteWhale

You express a lot of uncertainty and hypotheticals - with no evidence to support it.  To rational people, those aren't convincing arguments.

WhiteWhale
WhiteWhale

@bvckvs Some of the people that come before her might actually be innocent.  Or do you believe that only guilty people get arrested?

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@jacqueline.marie @bvckvs@JohnSmallBerries@WylieH

You're right - you are going out on a limb there.  Here, in Texas, 1 out of 3 people have appeared before a judge on criminal charges, and 1 out of 10 have served jail time.

Beyond that, your observation that all who appear before her are treated as guilty is somewhat true.  But it isn't just true in her court - it's true in all of our criminal courts.

So your problem isn't with how she runs hers, it's in how we run ours.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@JohnSmallBerries @bvckvs@WylieH

Citing the word of an activist isn't enough to show she did anything wrong. 

It just shows that a civil rights activist was enjoying his right to free speech.


jacqueline.marie
jacqueline.marie

@bvckvs @JohnSmallBerries @WylieH

hopefully not for much longer - I'm going out on a limb and assuming YOU have never been in any court much less HER court.  I have been! As an advocate for a friend who has been through her system...and it was the absolute worst experience of my and his life.  I am telling you that innocence matters not one iota - it is a given in her court that all who are appearing before her are guilty, It is merely a matter of to what degree... 



JohnSmallBerries
JohnSmallBerries

@bvckvs @JohnSmallBerries @WylieH  Oh don't be silly. Lots of people "have the backing of the voters" from the national level to dog catcher, but you know just as well as I do that the public knows nothing of what they do.

You seriously think people accused of class A and B misdemeanors are going to wage a war on this especially if they are poor?

As far as it being legal, I guess you missed this part: "In the Buford case, in which the client was found indigent, trying to ask for a payment up front would be unconstitutional, says Texas Civil Rights Project director Jim Harrington...  'You can't do that. That's ridiculous,' Harrington says."


I don't think it is quite clear whether this is on the up and up.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@JohnSmallBerries @bvckvs@WylieH

If you honestly think that's what's going on, then lobby your congressman to repeal the parts of the US Constitution that allow us to hold accused criminals while they await trial.

Everything this judge has done has been legal and she has the backing of voters.

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