Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Fair and Equal Justice for All New Mexicans

We here in Bernalillo County are a very lucky people because when it comes to our justice system we have some of the most hard working dedicated judges anyone could ask for in any state. At times they put the needs of the court system before family or friends to the point where they have to be told forcefully to take a break by those individuals. These judges care about the system and how well it works for the people.

They work very long hard hours to hand down the most fair and just decisions that are meant to be best for the voting public. They spend hours if not days and months reading over all of the filings in a case just so that they understand all of the facts before hearing the case in court. These filings can and often do amount to mountains of information that have to be reviewed before each court case is heard.

Judges hear thousands of cases each year so you can only begin to imagine all of the hard work these individuals perform to hand down fair and balanced judgments in each and every case.

We are all a little saddened and angered when a judge is asked to take a paid leave especially during hard economic time when the court system has limited financial resources to begin with while they are investigated for misconduct on the bench. The State Supreme Court has saw fit to remove Judge Victoria Grant from the bench in just such a case. When 22 complaints are filed by public defenders which will never be made public then a pattern begins to emerge that is troubling to say the least.

The lawyers in this city are the first and best line of defense when a judge does go bad on the bench because they are able to file complaints so that the upper court system can deal with the problem. All judges are people and sometime they have medical or personal problem that affect their ability to perform the job well so in order to protect them from unfair or unjust treatment those complaints are kept private.

Needless to say at times the voting public would like to know if something is going wrong in their court system. “Trust me, I will do the right thing,” is not always the answer the voting public wants to hear from the state supreme court in this state due to past corruptions in our state government.

Perhaps it is time that the State Supreme Court came out with some kind of a statement that would give the voting public some clue as to the nature of those complaints so that they could understand if this judge was just having a problem of some kind that can be delta with or if the judge in question just went bad on the bench. The State Supreme Court must understand that the voters are willing to be understanding if they are not kept in the dark on such issues for what amounts to unreasonable amounts of time.