What I Want in my Judge
The 2010 Primary Election is coming up this June and in Sierra County we already have 5 qualified attorneys interested enough in the position to have taken out papers.
Immediately the discussion in the community begins, what kind of judge will "Jones" make? Will they be tough on drugs, love the 3 strikes law or think it is a travesty will there be maximum or minimum sentences, are they liberal, conservative, how would they rule in this case?
As much as those questions interest me and I would like to know the answers, as I see it, that is not the most important issue. It is the character, knowledge of the law, the ability to set personal preference aside and truly judge equitably and with equanimity.
Passion and personal belief play no part in judgeship. Here in Sierra County we have been blessed with good judges. Winslow Christian, Stanley Young, William Skillman, Reginald Littrell and William Pangman, men of good character, served our county for many years.
Reginald Littrell was the epitome of running an equitable courtroom. I always felt both the Prosecutor and Defense attorneys knew they would be getting the best possible environment to present their cases when "Reg" was on the bench. Although he was well known and a vital part of the community, friends and family knew there would be no talk about what he thought about an issue that might appear before him. He was a great Judge his character was stellar.
Retiring Judge Bill Pangman is another guy who passes the character test. Well liked in the community, seen as fair and impartial on the bench and has the added quality of slowing things down in the courtroom and making sure the defendant understands what is going on and doesn’t get rushed through the system, a fair trial pretty much says it all for Judge Pangman’s courtroom.
I can only hope the men and women stepping into the candidacy role in the next few months have the opportunity to demonstrate their character and equitableness and I will be able to vote with confidence for the person to fill those big shoes of Christian, Young, Skillman, Littrell and Pangman.