Thursday, December 28, 2006

Judge slammed for "AA or jail" choice

Monterey, CA: A report by a disciplinary panel of three judges found that Monterey County Superior Court Judge Jose Angel Velasquez (photo) of the Salinas division engaged in judicial misconduct when he offered defendants a "Hobson-like" choice between Alcoholics Anonymous meetings or jail that did not include the right to plead guilty and go to trial. The panel concluded that Velasquez acted in "good faith" out of a desire to encourage defendants to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and avoid a criminal conviction on their record, but that he acted outside the laws and ethics of his position.

The panel found six instances of this violation. They were among more than 20 cases of judicial misconduct by the judge, the panel found. Details.

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