Finally. About time the CJP caught up with Judge Edmund Clarke’s terrible behavior towards poor women, and minorities.
Mind you, Clarke has only been a judge for seven years.
Unfettered, one can only imagine what a tyrant Clarke would be say, by year 10!
However, for the bigger picture, larger questions must be realistically considered:
- Why have court personnel allowed Judge Clarke’s repugnant behavior to continue?
- Have court personnel forgotten they work for the public?
- With no brakes on the hateful behavior Judge Clarke visited on prospective jurors, the question must be asked, then considered:
Are LA Courts really a viable option for justice?
From the Recorder: “Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Edmund Clarke Jr. was out of line on several occasions during jury selection for a May 2014 murder trial, according to the CJP charges. Clarke excused one prospective juror but then ordered her to wait in the hall for an hour, according to the commission, after becoming angry that she had criticized his clerk. He also drove a native Spanish speaker to tears by suggesting that she had lied about her English abilities to avoid jury duty, according to the notice.”
Clarke made fun at two female prospective jurors whose juror forms indicated that they had less than $35 in their bank accounts, according to the allegations. One had asked Judge Clarke to keep the banking information confidential. Then thanked Clarke afterward when he did. However, after leaving the courtroom, Judge Clarke made the low balance, bank account information public, as the butt of a joke.
Again, what’s up with court personnel not reporting Clarke’s behavior?
The Complaint references commission, “a pattern of discourteous, undignified, and inappropriate treatment of members of the public.”
Clarke could be removed from the bench. If there is any justice, he will, not being fit nor, as my four year old once said, “trustable.”
Summarizing from the Recorder: “The commission claims Clarke mistreated one prospective juror after granting her a hardship waiver due to her severe anxiety. Before leaving, the woman complained that Clarke’s clerk had been disrespectful. Clarke seemed to take offense and ordered the prospective juror to wait in the hall until he finished the afternoon session of voir dire, at which point she could “act like an adult” and make her complaint, according to the transcript included in the commission’s notice.
When he brought the woman back into the courtroom, Clarke told her that in seven years, no juror had ever complained about his clerk.
“If you came here thinking that this was going to be Disneyland and you were getting an e-ticket [to] have [a] good time, I’m afraid you have no sense of what is going on in this building,” he said, according to the transcript.
Clarke accused another prospective juror of lying about her ability to understand English.
“Don’t try and fool me now, ma’am, you’ll be here a lot longer,” Clarke said, according to the transcript. “Most people that have been in this country for 10 years have picked up enough English … so you better have a different reason why you want to be excused than that.”
Clarke, the Recorder reported, threatened to bring the woman back the next day, and made her wait in the hallway while the court found a Spanish interpreter, according to the commission. When he called the woman back, she began crying, saying she “felt ashamed” that she couldn’t speak English. Clarke told the woman he believed her and encouraged her to learn English because “for citizenship here you should make an effort.”
Clarke also made jokes about two prospective jurors who requested hardship waivers because of financial struggles. To the first woman, who privately disclosed that she had $25 in her checking account, Clarke said, “every one of these lawyers spent more than that on lunch today.” After dismissing her, Clarke shared her account balance with the court, according to the commission. When talking to the second juror, who said he had $33 in his account, Clarke said, “A little bit more than the other gal. 33 bucks. You are putting her in the shade with that big account.”
Clarke, a Republican, (aw, come on. Raise your hand who’s surprised) lives in Manhattan Beach where it can be expected he would express his disdain for the people he vowed to serve, more openly.
Prior to being appointed judge by Gov. Terminator, Clarke was a partner with the law firm Stark & Clarke. Supposedly, Clarke also “served” (allegedly) as a deputy public defender for the Los Angeles County Public Defenders Office from 1977 to 1981. How unfortunate for those clients.
Clarke graduated from UCLA, with a Juris Doctorate degree and Bachelor of Arts degree.
Our guess is Edmund W. Clarke, Jr. developed his animosity for women and minorities from Edmund W. Clarke, Senior. Fine. Everyone is free to be as Un-American as they wish. But they should be in no position of power in government. Not only is the very idea repugnant, Clarke routinely violated his oath of office.
So, of course Clarke should be removed from the bench. But my question is, why shouldn’t he be required to refund a portion of his salary? Why isn’t this on the table? How do we get this on the table?