Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer
A federal judge in Atlanta made national news this week when he was charged with buying drugs from a stripper. The judge had presided over the prosecution of Edmond H. "Eddie" Smith, a case we have covered here at Legal Schnauzer.
U.S. District Judge Jack T. Camp, a 67-year-old Reagan appointee, became infatuated with the stripper when she performed a lap dance for him, according to an affidavit from an FBI agent. The lap dance apparently pleased the court.
Bad jokes aside, the Camp escapade illustrates a sad truth about our justice system: Camp got nabbed only because he allegedly committed a crime--a relatively minor one--outside his role as a judge. He could have committed any number of serious crimes in "his official capacity" and almost certainly gotten away with it.
That's because federal judges receive lifetime appointments and are cloaked in judicial immunity--and those are two of many reasons the U.S. justice system is a sordid mess.
How did Camp step in doo-doo? The Atlanta Journal-Constitution spells it out:
Camp met the dancer, identified in the affidavit as CI-1, when he purchased a private dance from her, according to the affidavit by Special Agent Mary Jo Mangrum, a member of a task force investigating public corruption. He returned the next night and purchased another dance and sex from her, the affidavit said. The two then began a relationship that revolved around drug use and sex.
In some cases, he bought drugs from the dancer, while in others the pair purchased them from other parties, according to the affidavit. Camp sometimes took loaded guns to the deals.
Camp's arrest came after a buy from an undercover agent, authorities said.
So, a lap dance led to the judge's downfall. The dancer must have made several motions, to which the judge definitely did not object. (Sorry, we can't help ourselves.)
What about Eddie Smith, the Alabama outdoorsman who has been ensnared in a number of legal difficulties? Well, Smith now looks like a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, compared to the judge who helped throw him in the federal slammer. Reports the Mobile Press-Register:
A federal appeals court moved this week to appoint a new judge in the Eddie Smith case after the judge who presided over the trial was arrested on charges of doing drugs with a stripper that he had paid for sex.
Edmond H. "Eddie" Smith IV is scheduled to be sentenced next week for trying to hire a hit man to kill a federal judge and prosecutor. That date is in doubt now in the wake of Friday's arrest of Senior U.S. District Judge Jack T. Camp, a 67-year-old married man who took semi-retired senior status in 2008.
"I don't know what it's going to do," said J. Clark Stankoski, an attorney who represents Smith.