According to a report from the New York Times, civil rights organizations and legal ethics experts have filed a judicial misconduct complaint this Tuesday against a senior federal judge, accusing her of making inappropriate statements against minority groups and people with mental disabilities.
The complaint alleged that Judge Edith H. Jones, of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, said in a speech this February at the University of Pennsylvania Law School that African-Americans and Hispanics are “predisposed to crime” and that defendants facing capital punishment who claim “mental retardation” disgust her.
These were among her statements, as reported by the San Antonio Express-news:
That certain “racial groups like African Americans and Hispanics are predisposed to crime,” are “prone to commit acts of violence,” and get involved in more violent and “heinous” crimes than people of other ethnicities;
That Mexican nationals would prefer to be on death row in the United States rather than serving prison terms in Mexico, and it is an insult for the United States to look to the laws of other countries such as Mexico;
That Defendants’ claims of racism, innocence, arbitrariness, and violations of international law and treaties are really nothing more than “red herrings” used by opponents of capital punishment;
That claims of “mental retardation” by capital defendants disgust her, and the fact such persons were convicted of a capital crime is itself sufficient to prove they are not in fact “mentally retarded”;
That the imposition of a death sentence provides a positive service to capitol-case defendants because the defendants are likely to make peace with God only in the moment before their imminent execution.
Jones was among the potential nominees to the Supreme Court during George W. Bush’s presidency. The decision as to whether the complaint will stand or be dismissed belongs to Carl E. Stewart, the current chief judge on that circuit. Stewart is the first African American to fill that post.