Article Critique: Judging Judges - Critique based upon the conceptual article by Geoffrey P. Miller titled; ‘Bad Judges’ (2004), Texas Law Review, 83(2), 431-487.

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Article critique: Judging Judges

October 11, 2011


Judging Judges

This critique is based upon the conceptual article by Geoffrey P. Miller titled; 'Bad Judges' (2004), Texas Law Review, 83(2), 431-487, in which addresses the problem of bad judges who are abusive, corrupt, and incompetent. These judges undermine public confidence in the judicial system. Simply stated, this paper identifies types of judicial misconduct with existing approaches used along with proposing new panel-exclusion approach, in which the court administrator would randomly select a panel of judges to the litigants for exclusion, and compiled statistics on the exclusions to be used during the process of retention, re-election, supervision and removal of judges

Analysis of Key Points

Corrupt influence on judicial action

Like other professionals, judges can do good and bad things but compared to the average professional, judges have a lot more influence over the outcome of a person's life.

In civil court, judges have the power to place a value on a lawsuit. In many states, criminal court judges have the power to sentence people to lengthy prison terms or even to death. The consequences of either can be tragic when these powers fall into the hands of bad judges who have a corrupt influence on judicial action. "Bad judges get various rewards for influencing cases: goods, sex, debt relief, cash, or the satisfaction of helping out family, friends, lovers, employees, elected officials, and colleagues," (Miller, 2004, p. 434). In cases that may come before the judge, receiving gifts in themselves are not often considered bribery or extortion but it might indicate a situation where the judges' ethics are deemed questionable when offered by the lawyers or litigants.

Overstepping authority

Bad judges go beyond the limits...