Sunday, December 4, 2011

Judge Baddour: He's No Tortured Soul

Justice demands that "we the people" be represented by judges that often find themselves "tortured" in deciding the questions of law that arise in criminal cases. However, judges like Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour isn't one of those "To Kill a Mockingbird" judges, sent down from central casting. On Monday, November 28, 2011, Judge Baddour ruled that evidence about the murder of Abhijit Mahato can be introduced during the trial of Lawrence Lovette. Lovette is the defendant accused of first degree murder in the shooting death of Eve Carson. If you recognize the name of Eve Carson, but not Abhijit Mahato, you are not alone. Carson was beautiful, blond, female, American and white. Abhijit Mahato was neither. Ironically, the case of Mahato, who was murdered over a month and a half before Carson has not been tried yet and if his death is in the North Carolina consciousness at all these days, its because Baddour's ruling opens the door for the prosecution to establish a purported pattern against the defendant using evidence from the Mahato case. Under the law, for Baddour to allow the evidence from the Mahato "yet tried" case, he had to rule the cases were similar. To no one's surprise, if you have studied Baddour's rulings in cases involving non-white defendants (and plaintiffs), Baddour ruled the evidence can come in. The effect of his ruling is to prejudice and confuse the jury with a possible jury instruction like: "Now, the Defendant hasn't been convicted of the Mahato crime, so just put that connection out of your head, but both Mahato and Carson were college student (like the other 18.2 million each year)." Don't get us wrong. If Lovette is guilty, and it looks like he very well may be, he should be treated like a lame horse, but we can say that because we are spectators to the wheels of justice. Judges like Baddour do not have the luxury to decide someones fate like he's belly up to the bar with his peeps. In this trial the jury is the trier of fact; but as the judge purportedly concerned with issues of law, he consistently rules for the state (ruled the defense had no right to tipster evidence in this case) despite his clear constitutional mandate to do otherwise. In short, he's fueling his political and judicial rise with the kindling of people's civil liberties. Ironically, as Lunsford Long purportedly said of Baddour after he was appointed by former Governor Mike Easley, “he’s just a kid!” and that he had been appointed solely due to his father’s political influence as Director of Athletics for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Now Baddour's dad "Big Dick Baddour" is out due to scandal, Easley is facing disbarment by the State Bar, and Judge Baddour sits on the bench having refused to pay over $7,000 in delinquent taxes. Oh yea, if you are reading this Mr. Lovette...your judge's daddy was the Director of Athletics for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Want to take a guess what school the victim Eve Carson attended and was the Student Body President of? Nuff said. Many of us might wish Baddour was tortured when reaching his decisions, BUT HE AIN'T. Prediction: This case becomes an appellate attorney's dream!

No comments:

Post a Comment