MEDFORD, Ore. — The Oregon Supreme Court says a Jackson County Judge was out of line during a sentencing last year.
Judge Timothy Barnack sentenced a man to life without parole for 21 different counts of child sex crime, but the judge lost his temper in the process. The Oregon Supreme Court censured Judge Barnack. A censure is a formal document stating Barnack crossed the line in court.
Oregon has a code of conduct that sets expectations for how judges should act in court. If someone feels the judge said something inappropriate in the courtroom, they can submit the complaint to a commission the commission on judicial fitness and disability.
The commission looks over the complaint and decide it’s against the code; then, they forward it to the Supreme Court. It’s not rare for the commission to get all kinds of complaints.
“It is rare however that judges actually violate the code and that they are censured in this manner. The commission gets a lot of complaints but very few of them are validated and go through a public process where the judge is found to have violated the code of conduct,” said Supreme Court Spokesman
Judge Barnck was censured for telling Richard Taylor he hoped he, “rots in prison”. In the censure, Judge Barnack has agreed to create a written script to read prior to coming into the courtroom so he doesn’t stray from the code of conduct.
Click Here (Warning: Strong Language) to read Oregon State Supreme Court’s official censure letter of Judge Barnack.