A group of civil rights organizations have filed a judicial misconduct complaint against a federal judge for inappropriate comments she allegedly made during a speech. The group alleges that during her remarks, the judge made biased statements against minorities and displayed a non-judicial religious belief in the death penalty.
The complaint filed against Judge Edith H. Jones of Houston, who sits on the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, alleges that she made inflammatory comments during a speech at the University of Pennsylvania Law School in February. During her remarks, Jones is quoted as having said that blacks and Hispanics commit more ‘heinous’ violent acts than other racial groups. Specifically, Jones is accused of saying certain “racial groups like African-Americans and Hispanics are predisposed to crime,” and are “prone to commit acts of violence.”
Jones is also accused of having said that charges of “mental retardation” disgust her and claims of innocence and racism are just red herrings. Jones said the fact that a person commits a capital crime proves that he or she is not retarded. She is also alleged to have said that a death sentence provides a service to capital defendants because they are likely to make peace with God only just before their execution
Although there is no video or audio of her making the comments, five students and one attorney who were there signed off on an affidavit saying she’d made the remarks.
Among the groups that have joined in on the complaint are the League of United Latin American Citizens, the Texas Civil Rights Project and the Mexican Capital Legal Assistance Program.
Judge Jones, 64, was nominated to the federal bench by President Reagan. She has previously been mentioned as a potential nominee to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Judge Jones has not responded to the complaint filed against her.