Saturday, December 8, 2018

Massachusetts “moderate” Republican Governor Charlie Baker attacks conscientious judge

On December 2nd the Boston Globe published an article suggesting that a judge in the Massachusetts Newton District Court may have helped a defendant escape from a federal ICE official waiting to arrest the defendant. (Newton is a well-to-do liberal suburb neighboring Boston.) The Governor, viewed in this heavily Democratic state as a responsible moderate Republican who does not support the President, reacted to the article in a very Trump-like manner. He said that the judge should be removed from hearing criminal cases until a federal investigation of the judge was completed. The usually liberal Boston Globe published an editorial that essentially supported the Governor’s point of view. (However, the Globe also published two op-eds and letters supporting the judge.)

I decided to speak out in support of the judge. The Globe printed my letter online yesterday along with two other letters that also supported the judge:

This is my letter with the Globe’s headline:

Baker, Globe editorial tromp on due process for judge

Thanks to Adrian Walker for speaking out in support of Newton District Judge Shelley Joseph (“Judge deserves due process,” Globe Metro, Dec. 5). Governor Baker (“Baker seeks to penalize judge,” Page A1, Dec. 4) and, in its own way, even the Globe editorial (“A state judge courts trouble,” Dec. 5) found Joseph guilty until proven innocent. As Walker points out, the governor has advocated for a denial of due process. Such denial would be shameful.

Furthermore, we should support the judge even if she was guilty as charged. It would show only that she cares about the well-being of people in trouble and has a conscience that should be respected and admired.

John L. Hodge
Jamaica Plain