Wednesday, June 5, 2013
A female judge is in trouble for pointing out that blacks and Hispanics are more violent than other racial groups
A complaint has been filed by several left-wing groups, including one funded entirely by the government of Mexico, alleging that federal Judge Edith Jones has violated her duty to be impartial and damaged the public's confidence in the judiciary, in statements she made in a public lecture – including that blacks and Hispanics are more violent. Jones, who sits on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals – based in New Orleans, its jurisdiction includes Texas – made numerous "offensive and biased" comments during a February 2013 lecture at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, according to the complaint filed pursuant to the federal Judicial Conduct and Disability Act. The complaint, filed by the Texas Civil Rights Project, Austin NAACP, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), and the Mexican Capital Legal Assistance Program (among others) alleges that during her talk – billed as "Federal Death Penalty Review with Judge Edith Jones (5th Cir.)" – Jones violated a number of canons of the code of conduct for federal judges. The lecture was not recorded, but witnesses recalled a number of Jones' statements. The views she expressed included not only that minorities are responsible for more violent crime than are whites, but also that claims by death row inmates that racism or arbitrariness infected their prosecutions, or that they are actually innocent or even mentally retarded, are merely "red herrings," according to those who attended the lecture. Further, Jones "denigrated" the system of justice in Mexico and said that it was an insult when the United States considered laws in other countries when looking at the death penalty – presumably including in Mexico, where capital punishment was outlawed in 2005. Jones also told the audience that any Mexican National would rather be on death row in the United States than in a Mexican prison, reads the complaint, and indicated that the United States provides Mexican citizens more legal protections than does their own system of justice. Moreover, according to the complaint, Jones asserted as fact the proposition that blacks and Hispanics are more likely to commit violent crimes. When asked to explain her comments, she stated that there was no arguing that blacks and Hispanics outnumber whites on death row and sadly it was a statistical fact that people from these racial groups get involved in more violent crime, reads the complaint. Based on available data from 1980 to 2008, blacks were disproportionately represented as both homicide victims and oﬀenders. The oﬀending rate for blacks (34.4 per 100,000) was almost 8 times higher than the rate for whites (4.5 per 100,000).