Monday, December 05, 2022

Alabama Judge Suspended After Ethics Complaint Details Racist Taunting, Rape Jokes

An Alabama judge has been suspended after an ethics commission accused him of mocking an Asian jury, referring to the 77-year-old governor as “MeMaw,” telling defendants they would be sexually assaulted in prison and repeatedly cursing in his court room.

Mobile County 13th Circuit Judge James T. Patterson, a Republican who was elected in 2016, was suspended last month following a complaint by the Judicial Inquiry Commission, the state agency charged with investigating complaints against Alabama judges.

The complaint, made public Wednesday, details Patterson’s inappropriate behavior over the course of several years, including an incident in 2019 when he asked a jury that included an Asian American if they all spoke “English,” mocking an Asian accent.

Patterson characterized his comment to the jury as a “stupid, stupid joke.”

“Liberals call everyone who disagrees today a racist,” Patterson wrote on his Facebook page after his racist comment. “I am none of that.”

Patterson also made references to defendants who were sexually assaulted in prison.

“While covering a file for the presiding judge, Judge Patterson told the defendants more than once that they would be ‘raped in the penitentiary,’” the complaint says.

The judge also mocked Republican Governor Kay Ivey, 77, calling her “Governor MeMaw” for the governor’s decision to issue a stay-at-home order at the start of the pandemic.


Judicial Investigation Commission

Patterson’s former court reporter, along with an assistant district attorney, told the commission the judge often used inappropriate language in the courtroom and, on at least one occasion, brought a defendant’s mother to tears. .

“In court, Judge Patterson used the following words: ‘f*ck,’ ‘sh*t,’ ‘bast*ard,’ ‘a*s,’ and ‘a*shole,’ the complaint says. “According to his former court reporter, Judge Patterson used the word ‘ass’ all the time in court as if it was his favorite word.”

The commission charged Patterson with inappropriate conduct and temper and abuse of judicial authority. He could potentially be removed from office, according to The Associated Press.

“Judge Patterson’s conduct has degraded the public’s confidence in the integrity, dignity, and decorum of the judiciary and has brought the judiciary into disrepute,” the complaint says.

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