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Jackson County Judge Reprimanded

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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
Phil Lemman

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.

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  1. Jan Bowman says:

    We are all human including the judge. If this case was as horrendous as it sounds and even though the judge was suppose to maintain some composure during sentencing, I’m sure many people in the courtroos were thinking the same thimg. Rotting in prison is to good for this perp. Life w/o parole would be great and if that’s what he got then good. If he did, it should be in solitary where he has no contact with anyone.

  2. RidgeRunner says:

    Having worked for a judge for many years, I came to realize that their professional demeanor and restraint can be sorely tested on certain cases.
    Now we all know that Judge Barnck is definitely not an automaton.
    I too hope the prevert rots in prison…..and I’m glad he got to hear it from someone who cares enough about crimes against children, who would risk censure to give vent “our” feelings, and continue to be a human with judicial restraint protecting our community.

  3. Tom Cook says:

    I know Judge Barnack personally. He is a good person and has always advocated for victims whether adult or child. He obviously lost his temper with this child molester and it is understandable. Who wouldn’t be sick over crimes like this?

  4. Xavier says:

    Judge Barnack is a great person and fair judge. I don’t think there’s anything humanly possible to not react like he did. The commission should understand that cases like this one are very unique and would be extremely difficult for a human being to not react or say something about it. I don’t even think there’s training program or anything that can prepare anybody for this.

    I believe Judge Barnack is not only a good person but also a great judge and the commission should let the man do his job.

  5. Dale Herrmann says:

    Tim and others, I urge you all to read this article by Mike Royko. It will make you proud to have Tim Barnack as a judge who articulates what we all should feel when confronted with scum.

    http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19930820&slug=1716828

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