I’ve posted repeatedly in the past of the hypocritical double standard that pervades the criminal justice system when it comes to drunk driving. Members of law enforcement, prosecution and the judiciary are quick to accuse and severely punish those suspected of DUI. Cops have quota systems and rewards for high DUI arrests; prosecutors seek promotions for winning convictions; judges and legislators fear being accused of “soft” on drunk drivers when election time nears.
And yet….these same people are commonly guilty of the same crimes about which they act so righteously – and are all too often protected by the system. See, for example, The DUI Double Standard, Guarding the Guardians, The DUI Double Standard Continues, When Judges Judge Judges and “I’m a Judge, Bro”.
And in yesterday’s news…
Third Florida County Judge in Seven Months Faces Charges
Broward County, FL. May 28 (NBCNews) – Three Broward County judges have been arrested on DUI charges in the last seven months. The rash of arrests has sent shockwaves through the courthouse and prompted the county’s top public defender to say something is wrong with the judicial culture in the county.
“When people ascend to the bench and put that robe on, it’s very common that they start to believe that they are bigger than the law; they are above the law; they are the law,” said Broward County public defender Howard Finkelstein. “Is that happening in Broward? I’ve seen that happen here for many years, decades. I thought it was getting better. I still think it’s getting better, but this is a very big bump in the road.”
The latest arrest came Tuesday when Judge Lynn Rosenthal of the 17th Judicial Circuit was arrested after hitting a parked, unmarked patrol car in a Fort Lauderdale courthouse parking lot. Judge Rosenthal told deputies she was also forced into a guardrail on I-595 on her way to work before the parking lot accident, but deputies said video disputed that report…
Just last week, fellow Broward County Judge Gisele Pollack was suspended from the bench without pay after she was arrested on DUI charges earlier this year following a car crash.
In November, long-time Broward Judge Cynthia Imperato was arrested for DUI in Boca Raton…
Want to bet whether this judge, like so many other judges, cops, prosecutors and legislators, will get nothing more than a slap on the wrist — if that?
(Thanks to Matthew Kensky.)