Judge tests limits of free speech with Facebook rant

2016-08-06 15:56
(iStock)

(iStock)

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Louisville - A Louisville judge in the American state of Kentucky, who railed against a prosecutor in provocative, racially charged posts on Facebook, will soon face a disciplinary hearing that could end his judicial career.

Judge Olu Stevens, who is black, is facing misconduct charges for suggesting that the white prosecutor was nefariously seeking to seat all-white juries.

Commonwealth's Attorney Tom Wine had asked the Supreme Court for a legal opinion on whether Stevens had the authority to dismiss a randomly selected jury panel because it lacked minorities, prompting Stevens to launch the attack.

Experts say his cause was worthy: Stevens shined a light on a racial imbalance that has dogged the criminal justice system for generations. But his personal attack on a prosecutor for requesting an appellate opinion could cross an ethical line and threaten to overshadow the issue he attempted to highlight.

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