The Art Of Judicial Decision-Making
If you're a judge, and the case is a really close call, what do you do? If you're Judge James Michael Shull of Virginia, you flip a coin! Really. As reported in The Washington Post:
According to the court, Shull admitted tossing a coin to determine which parent would have visitation with a child on Christmas. Shull said he was trying to encourage the parents to decide the issue themselves but later acknowledged that he was wrong.Nice. But there's more.
And then there was that whole drop-your-pants incident: The court said they occurred when a woman was seeking a protective order against a partner who she said had stabbed her in the leg. Shull knew the woman had a history of mental problems and insisted on seeing the wound, the court said.
The woman dropped her pants once to display the wound, then dropped them a second time after Shull left the bench for a closer look to determine whether the woman had received stitches.
A court bailiff testified before the commission that after the hearing, he asked Shull, "Did you see what that lady had on?" According to the bailiff, Shull replied: "Yeah, a black lacy thing ... it looked good, didn't it?"What did The Virginia Supreme Court have to say about Judge Shull's conduct? "See ya," they said, and removed him from the bench.