ScissorTales

NewsOK | BLOGS

Bench warrants

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board and J.E. McReynolds Modified: June 14, 2013 at 2:35 pm •  Published: February 22, 2013
Judges are supposed to be impartial, but this doesn’t extend to sentiments expressed during the sentencing phase of criminal proceedings. Once a jury has declared a defendant guilty, remarks by judges are appropriate.
 
In the case of Christopher Travis Baker, the remarks by Oklahoma County District Judge Kenneth C. Watson were deserved.
 
“You are a disgrace to your family,” Watson told Baker, convicted of shooting an off-duty sheriff’s deputy making a bank deposit for a restaurant. The victim survived the shooting but is permanently affected by it. Watson sentenced Baker this week to life in prison plus 30 years.
 
Fellow judge Ray Elliott is known for his post-conviction remarks. He said this to a convicted embezzler: “You’re a thief, plain and simple.” After another trial, Elliott’s response to a defendant trying to justify her criminal behavior was to say, “I’m not buying it.”
 
Justice may be blind, but judges aren’t deaf and dumb. They’re human and entitled to give a lecture on occasion.
by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
+ show more

by J.E. McReynolds
Opinion Editor
J.E. McReynolds is Opinion editor at The Oklahoman and has worked for the newspaper’s Opinion section since 1995. He joined The Oklahoman as business editor in 1985 and was previously managing editor of The Journal Record. A native Oklahoman,...
+ show more


Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    Dog rescued after being stuck in hot tar
  2. 2
    AC/DC's Malcolm Young has dementia, family says
  3. 3
    'Big Brother' star reveals he is HIV positive
  4. 4
    Texas girl missing for 12 years is recovered in Mexico
  5. 5
    PHOTO: Dez Bryant poses for pictures at Texas high school homecoming
+ show more