Judge Posts Obama Supporters' Mug Shots

Texas judge suggests that Republicans are less likely to commit crimes

By Matt Bartosik
|  Thursday, Aug 20, 2009  |  Updated 9:52 AM CDT
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A Texas judge is apologizing for a mug shot mix up.

Judge Tom Head of Lubbock County had been known to post photos and articles that he considers "interesting or worthy of discussion" on the courthouse bulletin board.

But recently, Judge Head posted mug shots of nine people—seven of them Black men—who were all wearing Barack Obama T-shirts. Along with the photos were several articles that criticized Obama supporters and suggested that Republican presidential supporters generally don't get arrested.

Based on data from the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, around 215,000 arrests are made in Illinois every year. In Texas, over 1 million arrests were made in 2007.

Is the judge trying to suggest that none of those arrestees were Republicans?

Several citizens were offended by the racial tone of the display.

"It seemed like a good thing to put on the board to try and get people talking to one another," Head, who was elected with nearly 70 percent of the vote running as a Republican in 2006, told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. "I don't consider it racist. I still don't."

Nevertheless, he did apologize, and County Commissioner Bill McCay removed the judge’s display.

Still, doubts remain. Judges are not meant to be politicians. They are elected to be impartial and make decisions without bias.

Judge Head's choice of posters represents a clear prejudice. If he wants to create conversation and dialogue inside the courthouse, then he owes Lubbock County more than an apology. He owes them a resignation letter.

Matt Bartosik, a "between blogs" blogger, considers this piece interesting and worthy of discussion.

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