Topic 2: Judicial Immunity
You have learned that judges are absolutely immune for judicial acts. Assume that a judge hears a criminal case involving a defendant who once publicly embarrassed the judge. The judge finds the defendant guilty, although there was a great deal of evidence presented by the defense that tended to show that the defendant could not have committed the crime. The judge sentences the defendant to the maximum penalty allowed.
Consider the following:
- Should the judge be immune from a suit claiming that her decision was biased? Why, or why not? Do you agree?
- 2. Assume the judge was biased because the defendant was an African-American male who had once been intimate with the judge's minor daughter. Can the defendant prevail in a §1983 action against the judge? Why, or why not?
- Do you think the concept of judicial immunity should be eliminated or changed? Why, or why not?
- What does the law in your home state say about judicial immunity?
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