Last week’s censure of Sedgwick County District Judge Rebecca Pilshaw by the Kansas Supreme Court caught the attention of legal observers around the country. Pilshaw was sanctioned for yelling at potential jurors in a 2004 murder trial.
The American Bar Association Journal reported the action along with a post in the Legal Profession Blog by Mike Frisch, ethics counsel at Georgetown Law Center, and one on Anne Reed’s Delberations blog about juries and jury selection.
Pilshaw, the only woman on the Sedgwick County district bench, is up for re-election this year.
“The Kansas story sounded so bad you had to wonder whether sanctioning the judge was enough,” Reed wrote.“…Every trial judge needs to let jurors know that defendants are presumed innocent, and that attitudes manufactured to get out of jury duty aren’t okay. But surely Gaither and his lawyers didn’t get the voir dire they should have, much less the deeply committed jury described in that other juror’s letter to the judge. An apology is a good thing, but more than a year after the Gaither opinion, a taint remains.”