We're a hawk on the issues.

Kentucky Judge Mocks Obama Shirt in Court, Tells Wearer ‘He is Lucky to Get Out Alive’

A Louisville judge claims she is just tough on crime. The lawyers who appear in her courtroom call her something else – ineffective and quite possibly a bigot.

One thing is clear though.  Conservative Judge Sandra McLaughlin – who was named the worst judge in town – does not like Obama and made a point of holding against a defendant in her courtroom.

“He’s lucky to get out of here alive,” McLaughlin said within earshot of Darryl Broaddus, an African-American man who had the misfortune of being arraigned while wearing the Presidential shirt.

“Did you see his t-shirt? Barack Obama, ‘Let’s Do It Again.’ That was a double whammy,” the judge continued, saying at least twice that the shirt was ‘not helping’ Broaddus’ cause.

In truth, though, Broaddus was lucky. Defendants that appear in front of McLaughlin are often subjected to more than just taunts about their t-shirt choice. Some have even been accused of crimes they did not commit at all.

In October, the controversial judge told said one defendant was “up here selling dope to little children.” The man, who was appearing in front of her during arraignment, was actually charged with possession, not selling drugs at all.

Just one week later, when another man appeared in court she quipped, “He still needs to burglarize so he can maintain his drug habit. So everyone feels good and safe with him out in the public.”

That man, who was also being arraigned, later had all charges dropped.

In four cases, McLaughlin – who seems to have a penchant for harassing people charged with drug offenses – even denied defendants access to a public defender, something she says is the right thing to do because “the resources in the public defender’s office are very scarce.”

She also said that she is proud of her work in the courtroom, mean-spirited comments and all.

“I think I do a really good job,” she said, defending her track record. “I show up on time and I work hard.”

Those who advocate and defend those who appear in front of her, however, think as long as McLaughlin remains on the bench, justice will not be served.

“How can you be standing in front of a judge who acts like that and says those things, and think you’re going to get some kind of impartial justice?” Jay Lambert, a supervisor at the Louisville Metro Public Defender’s office, asked, pointing out that the justice system deserves better than the controversial judge.

Photo Credit: Screen Capture

About the author

Tamar is a New York based freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in over 15 publications. You can catch her work regularly on Issue Hawk, Latest, Jspace, and MediaGlobal.