13 July 2012

Judicial Emo

From the judgment in United States of America v. Guillermo Novo Sampol 636 F.2nd 621 (back-story here) -
I want you to listen very carefully to what I have to say. 
In the first place, I think it necessary for me to tell you who the judge is who is to sentence you. And why? Because I want to point out to you that I have been around, and I want to point out to you that I am not falling for anything; that whatever I do I am going to do in such a way that if you in any way disappoint me, I will put the clutch on you so that no matter what you do you won't be able to extricate yourself from the judge's sentence. 
I know it sounds threatening, but I have got to talk plain. (Sentencing TR. 9) 
Your lawyers have done one whale of a job for you, Mister. They believe in you. I don't. That is putting it on the line. I'm not sure of you; they are. 
Why do I bother with you altogether, then? Why don't I just throw the book at you and say you did a dirty, slimy, almost inhuman bit of deportment, you should pay, and I wish the law would enable me to multiply it by ten? Why do I bother with you altogether since I suspect you? 
For the simple reason that there has been called to my attention by your lawyers and by the Government, in all fairness, that you have been cooperating. Does that mean that I am convinced that you have told everything you know? Not by a hell of a long way. No, sir. You haven't convinced me of that. I don't know whether you are peddling some of this a bit at a time. (TR. 10-11) 
See, I have had people like you. Some of them were my witnesses before I became a judge. I have seen some of the worst rogues rise to the top, and I have seen some of the worst rogues go down the gutter. What they do by way of saying they will cooperate is to dole it out like with a medicine dropper. 
I think I was able to tell which ones were really opening up and which ones were really playing a game of cat-and-mouse. 
I have a feeling that you are in the middle ground, that you are giving some material, and I think some valuable material, but I think you can go much further. 
Do I think Kaminsky would not succumb to the temptation of going back to the same kind of maneuvering that he engaged in? I'd like to think not, but I may say candidly that when you are in a corner I think you may very well pull off the old kind of stuff. (TR. 11) 
I come back to the only thing that makes me talk to you, spend my energy, exercise a sore throat. 
Why do I do it? I say I do it only because I believe you can be cooperative with the authorities to the end that the community will be benefited by the help that you are in a position to give. (TR. 12, 13) 
A perspective on judicial emo is provided in Disqualification For Bias (Leichhardt: Federation Press 2012) by John Tarrant.