Monday, August 10, 2009

Abuse of Power and Position

Being rich, powerful, influential, well-educated, etc. provide no immunity from doing some really dumb things. The news is filled with stories where someone who should have known much better gets caught in a serious crime and their life's work and reputation is destroyed overnight.

Bernie Madoff and R. Allen Stanford are excellent examples. WorldCom and Enron execs from a decade ago are still memorable. With all of the great examples of people doing dumb things and getting caught, you'd think there might be a chance that others would learn from the mistakes of others and avoid them, but you'd be wrong if you did.

Take the current case that is pending in Mobile Alabama against a former Mobile Circuit Court Judge Herman Thomas.  Thomas is accused of granting more lenient sentencing in exchange for sexual favors.  Thomas has lost his robes, the state bar has pulled his license to practice, and a grand jury has just made several additional indictments to the current 57 counts of kidnapping, extortion, sodomy, sexual abuse, and ethics violations.

If Thomas were to be found guilty of the charges against him, he would likely face incarceration in the same facilities as the inmates he had himself sentenced while acting as a judge.  That does present an interesting situation that I am sure keeps him awake at night as he ponders the consequences of his choices.

Meanwhile, Mobile County and the Alabama State Bar are left to wonder what they might have done differently in order to have prevented this from happening.  I am sure that finding more effective tools for assessing the propensities of candidates for the role of lawyer or judge will be among the topics discussed.


TR Olds said...

Ah, that's nothing. Here in NY we've state SUPREME court justices gettin jiggy wid' it.

Not some little district court judge.

Cap Beauchemin said...

What a delicious irony! The sexual predator become the prey amongst his victims.

Proof that life truly is stranger than fiction. You can't make this stuff up. A truly delicious irony.

Janice Stevens said...

Amazing! He is accused of having sodomized inmates at the jail. That's got to weighly heavily on his mind.

Spending time as a fellow inmate amongst your sodomy victims can't be a pleasant thought. You just know that they'll be looking to return the favor.

TS Reynolds said...

Ouch! That has got to hurt!