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Judge suspended for 60 days, no pay

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The Indiana Supreme Court has suspended Marion Superior Judge Grant W. Hawkins from the bench for 60 days without pay, though two justices wanted a yearlong penalty while two others wanted a month suspension.

An order came just before 5 p.m. Wednesday in In the matter of the Hon. Grant. W. Hawkins,  No. 49S00-0804-JD-157, ending the almost yearlong disciplinary action that came to light because a wrongfully convicted man sat in prison for nearly two years after DNA evidence cleared him of a rape.

Starting Thursday, the judge who's been presiding over Criminal Division 5 since Janaury 2001 begins his 60-day suspension. He's been temporarily suspended since Nov. 25, but has been earning his state-set $125,647 annual salary.

A three-judge panel and the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications recommended his removal last year, stemming from the April 2008 charges that his lack of court supervision resulted in case delays. The judge's former commissioner, Nancy Broyles, was also charged but resigned last year and has been permanently banned from the bench.

Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard and Justice Frank Sullivan wanted a yearlong suspension without pay based on the serious nature of the case and the recommendation for removal, while Justice Ted Boehm felt a 30-day suspension was appropriate since the trial judge didn't intentionally do anything wrong. Justice Robert D. Rucker concurred with the lesser sentence, and Justice Brent Dickson wrote a paragraph of his own saying the 60-day suspension was an appropriate middleground that balances his fellow justices' disagreement, the removal recommendation, and the 105 days Judge Hawkins had already been off the bench.

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  1. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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