Donations buying favorable rulings?

August 22, 2011
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Here’s another reason why judges shouldn’t be elected.

We were recently contacted regarding a fundraiser for Marion Superior Judge Becky Pierson-Treacy. A flyer advertising the event suggests contributions attendees can make, but it also implies that the judge can be bought.

Here’s exactly how it’s written:

Suggested Contributions:
$150 “Sustained”
$250 “Affirmed”
$500 “So Ordered”
$1,000 “Favorable Ruling”

I get that the organizers want to have a creative and legal-related way to categorize your donation amount, something different that “bronze, gold, or silver” but this really misses the mark.

Maybe a lawyer would think it’s clever, or maybe they would not. I bet most of the general public who saw the flyer would think this judge’s decision on a ruling could easily be swayed by a mere $1,000. I hope that wasn’t Judge Pierson-Treacy’s intent, or the intent of those who are hosting the event: Linda Pence, Lacy Johnson, and Greg Hahn. I would hope her husband, Ed Treacy, the Marion County Democratic chair, also doesn’t want people to think the judge can be bought.

Electing judges puts them in the tricky position of soliciting money for campaigns while maintaining impartiality. One would hope if someone wrote a “Favorable Ruling”-sized check that Judge Pierson-Treacy – or any judge receiving political donations – would remain impartial. (After news of this flyer hit other blogs and Indianapolis media and after I wrote this post, one news outlet reported that the September fundraiser was cancelled.)

It’s that time of the year when campaigns are holding fundraisers and soliciting donations. Have you received any other campaign material from judges up for election that you find questionable? What are your thoughts on Judge Pierson-Treacy’s committee’s choice of words describing contributions?

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  1. OK, now do something about this preverted anacronism

  2. William Hartley prosecutor of Wabash county constantly violates people rights. Withholds statement's, is bias towards certain people. His actions have ruined lives and families. In this county you question him or go out of town for a lawyer,he finds a way to make things worse for you. Unfair,biased and crooked.

  3. why is the State trying to play GOD? Automatic sealing of a record is immoral. People should have the right to decide how to handle a record. the state is playing GOD. I have searched for decades, then you want me to pay someone a huge price to contact my son. THIS is extortion and gestapo control. OPEN THE RECORDS NOW. OPEN THE RECORDS NOW. OPEN THE RECORDS NOW.

  4. I haven't made some of the best choices in the last two years I have been to marion county jail 1 and two on three different occasions each time of release dates I've spent 48 to 72 hours after date of release losing a job being denied my freedom after ordered please help

  5. Out here in Kansas, where I now work as a government attorney, we are nearing the end of a process that could have relevance in this matter: "Senate Bill 45 would allow any adult otherwise able to possess a handgun under state and federal laws to carry that gun concealed as a matter of course without a permit. This move, commonly called constitutional carry, would elevate the state to the same club that Vermont, Arizona, Alaska and Wyoming have joined in the past generation." More reading here: http://www.guns.com/2015/03/18/kansas-house-panel-goes-all-in-on-constitutional-carry-measure/ Time to man up, Hoosiers. (And I do not mean that in a sexist way.)

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