The Yale Law Journal article “Corruption in Our Courts: What It Looks Like and Where It Is Hidden“, suggest that over one million bribes are paid in the U.S. judicial system each year. “The judiciary is afforded wide discretion. Facts and law require interpretation; justice and equity require judgment. Every decision to grant a motion, to follow precedent, to interpret a statute or facts, to set a sentence or damages—every decision left up to the discretion of a judge—is a potential opportunity for corruption”.
Corrupt Judge Examples
A story appearing on the FBI’s website, “Public Corruption: Courtroom for Sale“, explains how a Texas judge rulings could be bought for as little as $300.
Corrupt Traffic Judge
After a disabled woman was turned down during her appeal for a parking ticket, a reporter exposes the judge when his vehicle is caught parked illegally and he provides the same excuse the woman whose case he refused to appeal.
Another FBI article, “Violation of Public Trust“, discusses how a judge, sheriff, and county prosecuting attorney in West Virginia conspired to used their authority to serve their own interests.
A former New Jersey state and federal prosecutor was accused of and convicted of running a criminal enterprise, conspiring to murder a federal witness, committing wire fraud, distributing cocaine, facilitating prostitution, bribery, and other crimes; see Attorney-Turned-Racketeer.
Two Pennsylvania judges pled guilty to accepting bribes from a private juvenile detention facility in exchange for incarcerating minors for extended periods of time, is evidence of just how vile and pernicious the consequences of judicial bribery can be. The last five years prior to their guilty pleas, the judges collected over $2.6 million in bribes and presided over the trials of five thousand children.
Even judges are not immune from the corruption of other judges.
Television Judge Joe Brown was jailed for contempt of court because he challenged the authority of what he considered to be a corrupt judge acting outside the scope of his authority.
News interview of Judge Joe Brown explaining his experience
Renting Judges for Secret Rulings
The New York Times ran an Op-Ed article, “Renting Judges for Secret Rulings“, written by Yale law professor Judith Resnik. The article discusses a Delaware Law that allows wealthy litigants to rent state judges and courthouses to decide cases in private and keep the results secret.