Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Poll Analyses
Share on Facebook 7 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
General News    H2'ed 5/21/10

For Biased Judges Even White Doesn't Make

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages) (View How Many People Read This)   1 comment
Author 48774
Message Linn Washington

On the second anniversary of their winning a historic $10-million verdict the largest ever for a discrimination lawsuit against the Philadelphia Police Department three men staged a protest outside the city's federal court house criticizing an unusual roadblock keeping them from receiving the fruits of their justice.

The three protestors, all former policemen, had sued the City of Philadelphia for savage, career-ending retaliation they received from Police Department personnel, including top officials, for their reporting of racism, corruption and other misconduct in the department.

In an unusual twist for such a discrimination suit, all three men are white,

This trio suffered severe retaliation during the late 1990s for opposing the vile racism heaped upon black police officers and minority citizens in the precinct where they worked.

Additional retaliation resulted from their reporting misconduct such as officers fraudulently obtaining over-time-pay by falsely claiming involvement in arrests that enabled them to testify in court while off-duty.

Fellow white officers harangued the trio as "rats" and snitches, failed to assist them and physically assault one trio member inside the precinct station.

Meanwhile, police commanders harshly disciplined the trio eventually discharging each on trumped-up charges, the jury determined.

The roadblock triggering that courthouse protest by Ray Carnation and twin brothers Michael and William McKenna is one of the most unusual elements in this legal saga that highlights deep deficiencies in America's justice system...

While the trio's lawsuit exposes the enormous rot of rampant lawlessness by law enforcers, the roadblock preventing them from collecting their jury award represents something more sinister: bias by judges bending rules requiring impartiality and doing so with seeming impunity.

The obstacle confronting this trio is a Philadelphia federal judge, Mary A. McLaughlin, whose years-long actions in this lawsuit evidences disturbing bias and unfairness against the trio.

Federal law Section 455(a) of Title 28 states that federal judges "shall disqualify [themselves] in any proceeding in which [their] impartiality might reasonably be questioned."

Yet Judge McLaughlin has rejected repeated requests that she withdraw from presiding over the case.

"We have repeatedly asked [McLaughlin] to remove herself from our case because she's obviously biased but she refuses to do that," Ray Carnation said.

The 3rd Circuit Appeals Court in Philadelphia, which oversees the federal district court where McLaughlin serves, has stated with respect to recusal requests under Section 455(a) that "a party seeking recusal need not demonstrate that the judge is actually biased, but rather he would appear to be biased to a reasonable person with knowledge of all the facts."

_____________

Next Page  1  |  2

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

 

Rate It | View Ratings

Linn Washington Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Linn Washington is a co-founder of This Can't Be Happening.net. Washington writes frequently on inequities in the criminal justice system, ills in society and problems in the news media. He teaches multi-media urban journalism at Temple (more...)
 

Related Topic(s): , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Mass Incarceration Creates Big Mess Across America

Green Party's Stein Walks With Poor While Democrats Party

American Justice on Trial: Gratuitous Police Violence, False Testimony by Police, and a Rush to Bad Judgment

Donald, Hillary and Cannabis: Stoned Stupid On Legalization

Fed Wrist-slap for Wachovia Shows Drug War Farce

These 9/11 Heroes Fought Against Terrorism a Century Before 2001

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: