letters | judging judges

Drunken-driving cases call for harsher light on judges

RE “Judging the judges: Protect independence” (Op-ed, Dec. 15): I almost fell off my chair when I read Nancy Gertner and Richard A. Gargiulo admonish that judicial independence has become fragile here in the Commonwealth and, even worse, that prosecutorial complaints about the judiciary could result in judges becoming mere agents of prosecutors.

As someone who has spent his career as a prosecutor, the last thing I would want is a judge acting as my agent. I can also honestly say that I have never worried about anything less. Instead, I worry about what the Commission on Judicial Conduct will do in the wake of the Globe’s Spotlight series on jury-waived OUI cases and a special counsel’s subsequent report to the Supreme Judicial Court. What is clear from both is that we have judges — more than just a few — who appear to be in the tank for criminal defendants and their attorneys.

Public safety issues aside, this ought to concern all members of the legal community because these rogue judges have done great violence to the reputation of, and the public trust in, our system of justice. Let’s hope the commission acts swiftly and shows some teeth. The jury-waived OUI travesty cries out for more judicial scrutiny, not less.

John E. Bradley Jr.


The writer is a former assistant US attorney and assistant district attorney.