CAN YOU EXPECT A FAIR TRIAL IN OKLAHOMA, IT ACTUALLY DEPENDS ON YOUR ATTORNEY
Your chances off getting a fair trial in Oklahoma are only about 40%. That is a conclusion drawn by this Newsletter when you appear in front of any district judge. What drew our interest in this story was this article from the Conservative Alliance Pac. We took a hard look at this ourselves and found it to be a semi-truthful argument. We had issues about the way the numbers were presented. The site www.opensecrets.org presented them in as a single item for all judges. We choose to dig a little deeper into individual judicial districts and do a spot check.
We next found this interesting article from the American Bar Association. The rules are different in every state regarding the use of social networks and judges being friends with someone is an attorney that may appear before them is allowable unless they have a case pending in front of that Judge. We found that inn Oklahoma it was different. In July of 2011 a case was brought against the state and the Judicial Ethics Opinion 2011-3 state that a Judge cannot be Facebook friends with attorneys, social workers, law enforcement officers, or others who regularly appear or are likely to appear in their court.” Judicial E.”Judicial E. So where do they get their campaign financing?
We next found this report from the Oklahoma City Fox News affiliate. It spells out a legal challenge of the way a case was handled and involves two Oklahoma County and one Canadian County Judges. This article was presented on September 28th, 2018. We were unable to find another news organization that covered this announcement. One can only be left with the question of why wasn’t this made more public? Could this have influenced the elections? We think it could have. It is our opinion that the three judges lack the Judicial Ethics necessary to ensure equal and impartial hearings in this instance.
We then found this this article from the Associated Press dated August 21,2018. Here we have a judge who resigned because he was facing aa disciplinary action with a trial coming up on October 15th, 2018 in front of the Oklahoma Court on the Judiciary. He was charged with Abuse of Power for putting hundreds of people in jail for contempt of court. He left with, as the article states “a heavy heart but clear conscience.” His actions and his response were nothing less than criminal. It’s now time for the Oklahoma Bar Association to revoke his privileges to practice law in the state of Oklahoma.
We next found this article from the Judicial Disqualification Resource Center. The articles covered under the disqualification of judges in Oklahoma is in Section 1401. An additional provision to the law found other steps that must be followed from Oklahoma Constitution art.II Section 6. In addition, Oklahoma has adopted the Code of Judicial Conduct. What is it that we see that a Judge can’t seem to understand?
Now the Oklahoma Conservative Alliance Pac depended on one source for the information on Judicial Campaign Financing. We went to a different source and looked up several of the judges’ campaign finance report. Using Judicial District 14 as an example, we found some interesting facts.
We could give you all the information on every judge in the state, however we chose two different judges from two different parts of the state to get a better look at their campaign finances. We went to www.votesmart.org to see what he was reporting during the campaign. We would recommend that you look at the finance page of this report. It’s like the directory of attorneys in the yellow pages. There is a very good possibility that these same attorneys will appear in front of him at sometime his career. Is it truly possible to finance a Judicial Campaign and the Judge not know who they were? There is, however it is our belief that any candidate for Judicial Office should not accept donations from attorneys.
We then selected Judge Kyra K. Williams from Nowata and Washington Counties. We know that she was up for re-election this year, however we were unable to find any campaign finance reports on her. Choosing an attorney in that area is just a big crap game. Out of all for of the Judges in that district lacked campaign financial reports. Do they think they are above the law up there?
In closing what needs to happen is a new law that requires that District Court Judges may not accept the contributions of attorneys in the area represents. Other than that, be very selective of the attorney you select. You can never tell what favors the Judge may make in a case.