A Connecticut judge was awarded a National President's Award from MADD for her use of victims impact panels and educating other judges about drunk driving sentencing options.
But is it a good thing for justice if a judge is receiving awards from victim's rights lobbying groups? Does this indicate a clear bias against defendants in DUI cases? If you are accused of drunk driving in Connecticut, can you really feel as if you are going to get fair treatment if you appear before this judge?
These questions are worth considering. Reader comments at the Middletown Press question whether it is proper for a judge to receive honors for directing defendants to MADD-sponsored victim's impact panels.
Everyone agrees that driving while drunk is a bad idea, but getting a fair shake in court is a right everyone must enjoy. While judges are human beings and have biases and tendencies, no defendant should have to feel intimidated knowing that they are going to appear before MADD's favorite award-winning judge in Connecticut. When your freedom is on the line, that's an uncomfortable and unfair place to be.