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Indiana: 'model' for judicial accountability

Jennifer Nelson
January 1, 2008
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A national watchdog group has ranked Indiana seventh in the nation for how it holds its state and federal judges accountable.

The Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, nonpartisan organization HALT, Inc. - Help Abolish Legal Tyranny - gave the Hoosier state's program a "C+" on its report card, which it claims is the first study of its kind in the nation. Both Indiana and Nevada received the 7th-place ranking.

A press release about the state's ranking cited Indiana as "exemplary" in some respects including consumer-friendly policies, public outreach, and not prohibiting individuals from speaking publicly about ethics complaints against judges. HALT also praised the Indiana Judicial Qualifications Commission's Web site for being easy to navigate and clearly explaining the judicial disciplinary process.

In keeping with the report card theme, the organization gave Indiana demerits for failing to place meaningful limitations on the reimbursement and compensation judges can take in connection with privately funded trips. The fact the Judicial Qualifications Commission relies primarily on private sanctions also lowered Indiana's overall grade.

Despite these flaws, HALT's senior counsel Suzanne M. Blonder cites Indiana as a model for the rest of the nation in several significant areas.

HALT graded all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and the federal circuits. Washington State took top honors with a "B." No state received an "A." Mississippi and Maine received flunking scores.

Click here to view HALT's report card on Indiana.
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  1. First comment on this thread is a fitting final comment on this thread, as that the MCBA never answered Duncan's fine question, and now even Eric Holder agrees that the MCBA was in material error as to the facts: "I don't get it" from Duncan December 1, 2014 5:10 PM "The Grand Jury met for 25 days and heard 70 hours of testimony according to this article and they made a decision that no crime occurred. On what basis does the MCBA conclude that their decision was "unjust"? What special knowledge or evidence does the MCBA have that the Grand Jury hearing this matter was unaware of? The system that we as lawyers are sworn to uphold made a decision that there was insufficient proof that officer committed a crime. How can any of us say we know better what was right than the jury that actually heard all of the the evidence in this case."

  2. wow is this a bunch of bs! i know the facts!

  3. MCBA .... time for a new release about your entire membership (or is it just the alter ego) being "saddened and disappointed" in the failure to lynch a police officer protecting himself in the line of duty. But this time against Eric Holder and the Federal Bureau of Investigation: "WASHINGTON — Justice Department lawyers will recommend that no civil rights charges be brought against the police officer who fatally shot an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Mo., after an F.B.I. investigation found no evidence to support charges, law enforcement officials said Wednesday." http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/22/us/justice-department-ferguson-civil-rights-darren-wilson.html?ref=us&_r=0

  4. Dr wail asfour lives 3 hours from the hospital,where if he gets an emergency at least he needs three hours,while even if he is on call he should be in a location where it gives him max 10 minutes to be beside the patient,they get paid double on their on call days ,where look how they handle it,so if the death of the patient occurs on weekend and these doctors still repeat same pattern such issue should be raised,they should be closer to the patient.on other hand if all the death occured on the absence of the Dr and the nurses handle it,the nurses should get trained how to function appearntly they not that good,if the Dr lives 3 hours far from the hospital on his call days he should sleep in the hospital

  5. It's a capital offense...one for you Latin scholars..

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