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Citizens United Demand Judicial Reform Now!

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Headlined to H3 9/14/11

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Judges have gone wild against Whistleblowers

"Corruptio optimi pessima."  "Corruption of the best becomes the worst."  

Washington-Whistleblower advocacy groups have joined in an unprecedented cooperation to protect Judicial Integrity. These groups, including the International Association of Whistleblowers (IAW), the Atlanta Whistleblower Coalition and Georgians for Justice have joined to hold judges accountable a top priority.


IAW by IAW
In the end, judges are the gatekeepers who frequently deny whistleblowers access to courts. Regardless of laws passed, if courts are hostile to whistleblower rights, society suffers. Whistleblowers may be looking out for society, but who is looking out for whistleblowers?

Leaders of the movement agreed that this is the most difficult challenge that persons of conscience face. Court misconduct can be deadly. When judges permit hospitals or defense firms to cover up, then taxpayers and citizens are left unsafe, and people die.

In the Godfather, Vito Corleone carried judges in his pockets "like so many nickels." What chance do average whistleblowers have when powerful corporations are pulling judicial puppet strings?

In the most extreme example, Georgia judicial misconduct has led both the Wall Street Journal and Forbes to declare, "Georgia judges have gone wild." Prime examples include judicial misconduct and criminal conduct in the Georgia / Fulton County Superior Courts. As it stands, more than 24 Georgia Judges have had to resign for violations of ethics, and for even wrongful execution orders.

Just last week, the FBI agreed to intervene. Brian Lambkin, who heads the FBI office in Georgia, has announced this week that it was opening a large investigation into judicial corruption. Larkin elaborated:

"It impacts the everyday system. It's not just a dirty law enforcement officer that might be shaking you down," he said. "You're talking about people that you elect to an office to represent you who try to line their pockets."

The Associated Press GREG BLUESTEIN writes that the situation is serious:

Lamkin will personally sign off on the investigations.

"The reason is a corruption investigation can ruin reputations," he said. "These are not quick hits. We will use sophisticated techniques and undercover operations to really go after these. That's why the individuals that work these have to be patient."

Lamkin wouldn't say how large the team is, but he said he's assigned about 40 percent of the staff in the bureau's white-collar crimes unit to the mission.

The move was welcomed by government officials, who believed state and local funding cuts over the last few years have eroded other investigations.

"I just appreciate it. One of the frustrations you hear is that with the state budget cuts, you don't have the resources to hire more investigators," said state Rep. Joe Wilkinson , who chairs the House Ethics Committee . "This brings another much-needed level of scrutiny to the system."

Fulton County Sheriff Ted Jackson , who has asked the FBI to investigate deputies at the Fulton County Jail for wrongdoing, applauded the new oversight. 

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Mark Galen is an advocate for whistleblowers. He is a doctor and professor of molecular biology, and author of the novel "Blue Codes."
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