Order in the Court [PHIL-OSOPHY]
Recently, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court handed down one of its most unjust decisions when they ruled against a Plymouth County judge's contempt finding against a juvenile who called out the justice, describing her as "a dumb white b----." And then the first-time offender enumerated other lewd expletives hurled at the judge during a fit of temper. Following a recess, the 16-year-old runaway juvenile apologized but was found in criminal contempt and her hearing was continued.
Rather than take up space here explaining why a juvenile case that's supposed to be sealed ended up in front of the Commonwealth's highest court, I'm going to just say that I totally agree with the county judge's finding of contempt of court. This juvenile treated the judge, and the general court, in an unlawful, unruly, racist and disorderly manner, jam-packed with profanities. Yeah, those are grounds for charging contempt of court to the juvenile. I would have ruled no differently.
The SJC affirmed the directive of a memo sent to judges and lawyers last summer to toss out any bias in the courtroom. In general terms, the SJC wrote that the court must look differently at rooting out bias in order to assure that the justice provided to people of color is identical to that provided to white Americans. I agree. But what the SJC has disregarded here is where's the equality of holding people identically responsible for their actions?
Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.