Judge Disciplined for Telling Pedophile to “Rot in Prison”

IMG_0311 - Version 2 Oregon Judge Timothy Barnack and the jury hearing the case of Richard Lee Taylor were disturbed and disgusted after sitting through hours of video tape evidence that showed the accused sexually abusing two twelve-year-old boys.

Taylor was a repeat offender on trial for 21 sex crimes. The jury found him guilty and Judge Barnack sentenced him to 21 life terms in prison with no possibility of parole.

To say the video evidence was shocking was an understatement. During the viewing, Judge Barnack stopped the video after some jurors began crying, while others later asked the Judge if the State would provide counselling to them to deal with the trauma of the evidence.

Judge Barnack was also visibly shaken. At the sentencing hearing Judge Barnack ask Mr. Taylor if he wished to say something. Taylor declined, whereafter the Judge told Taylor he was a “piece of shit” and asked him repeatedly if he wanted to salvage his soul.

Taylor did not reply and showed no remorse. One of Taylor’s young victims was in the courtroom. Then the Judge told Taylor that members of the public may wish to see him “hanging from a tree” and that he hoped he would “rot in prison”.

These emotional, intemperate words landed Judge Barnack in front of a Supreme Court Discipline Commission where the recently elected Judge agreed that his behavior violated ethics guidelines and consented to an order of censure against him.

As for me, I admire the spunkiness of this Judge who told Taylor what everyone in the courtroom wanted to say, but could not. Yes, I appreciate that the Judge’s words may have clashed with the usual decorum of a courtroom, however, Judges are human, they are not robots and in horrific cases they must be allowed some leeway.

Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang


5 thoughts on “Judge Disciplined for Telling Pedophile to “Rot in Prison”

  1. I love this judge; I’d like to meet him. Over a long career in the RCMP, I was friends with a number of judges; we became friends when they were functioning as lawyers mostly on the defence side. But we always behaved as professionals.

    I’d get grilled like a cheap hamburger by some of them when I was on the witness stand, and then later we’d go out for a drink. That’s what pros do, the system works when everyone does his or her job to the fullest, without taking anything personally.

    But I learned that some of my friends, after being elevated to the bench, seemed to park their common sense and brains outside the courtroom door.

    In social settings I was always very circumspect concerning the issue of discussing individual court cases. I never wanted to place my friends in what could be perceived as a compromising position.

    But one day I was having lunch with a friend who had been apponted to the bench a couple of years earlier. He was musing about how much he wished to see the “big guys” in the drug trade coming before him. At the time I was running a unit directed at major crimes.

    I kind of lost it, and told him that two weeks earlier, he had before him, for sentencing , a person that I’ll call “Dale” (because that was his name) who was one of the biggest and most powerful drug traffickers in Alberta, that he was being chased by enforcement authorities in eight different countries, that I had bagged him with two and a half million dollars worth of drugs that he had imported from Thailand.

    I said Danny, I delivered this guy to you on a platter, and your response was to sentence him to an 18 month suspended sentence.

    And I mentioned that I had received phone calls from authorities in three different countries who were stunned to learn of the sentence, because they were expecting something like 15-20 years, and they were re-thinking the utility of cooperating with us in Canada on joint investigations because, considering the sentence, they felt that their resources had been wasted.

    Regrettably our friendship cooled after that lunch. It was a shame, because he was and still is, I presume, a good guy.

    But I have a huge amount of respect for people like Judge Barnack, who venture past the border of political correctness, and say what the majority of the rest of us desperately want them to say.

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