There is a judge who is facing a lot of heat for his decision to inhibit himself from presiding over the trial of a multiple murder case, wherein one of the suspects is a member of a prominent political clan. There are some who say that he was a coward, and some who openly suggest that he should resign from his post. There are some who understand and respect his decision, and there are also those who pretend to understand, but will then proceed with saying that the judge should still have continued with handling the case.
Risk. Duty. Fear. Bravery. Safety. Integrity. These are just some of the words that I’ve heard over the news reports. I find instances like these amusing, because there is always that certain group who will come riding on their high horse, brandishing such words as honor, duty, courage. They couldn’t care less that the judge feared not only for his life, but for the lives of those closest to him. For them, the judge should have upheld his integrity as a member of the Judiciary, and put aside any thoughts of fear. Death threats, whether or not they will be carried out should not be a deterrent from performing one’s duty. It is always, always easy to say things like that. Especially, if you’re not the least bit involved in any way.
There is an oath, that judges swear on to upon taking office. A few lines indicate that to the best of his ability, a judge shall “render honest and equitable judgment upon the material presented, without fear or favor.” Personally, I respect that judge’s decision. What good would all the honor in the world do you, if you lose your loved ones in the process? Once more, you’ll hear sermons on how there’s always a risk, or how we should stand up for the greater good. But to me, that line from the Judge’s Pledge says a lot. If that judge won’t be able to preside over the case properly, since he will be entering the court already tainted with fear, then doesn’t that already compromise his thoughts and decisions on the case? Do you still think he’d be able to give out an honest, and equitable judgement? I’m no judicial pundit or expert or anything, but for me, I believe that by inhibiting himself from a task that he knows he cannot carry “to the best of his ability”, that judge did just right by the pledge that he swore on to.
Just as that council of mice rambled endlessly on who will put the bell on the cat, it wouldn’t surprise me if they also end up in a mindless discussion, trying to point just who will be the judge for this case. The loudest of the lot, would probably be the politicians, who will use this opportunity to sit proudly on that high horse, and preach about duty and integrity, without actually knowing anything about what they’re saying.