Here is a follow up to our previous post of the interactions between WATCH and the judiciary. Some of the more notable comments from the StarTribune are below:
[In 1997] WATCH successfully lobbied to get Nordby removed from the felony arraignment calendar because they saw him as soft on granting bail. When Nordby was scheduled to handle those arraignments again in 2000, WATCH again asked a different chief judge, Kevin Burke, to keep him off.
“He was setting free nearly all the defendants regardless of the crimes,” the group wrote in a letter. “Judge Nordby’s decisions regarding bail pose a serious threat to public safety.”
Just to point out, Judge Nordby is an extremely well educated individual with a solid understanding of the law. In fact, he has written many publications used by law students, and lawyers of all skill levels. He knows very well that the purpose of bail is to ensure that the accused returns to court. The purpose is not to keep the public safe. WATCH doesn’t seem to know this, or at least doesn’t seem to care.
Judge Nordby’s attorney in this matter Joe Friedberg seems to have the right view of WATCH, stating:
WATCH “wants the longest sentence, and there’s no question their message gets to the jury that we are going to hold you up for disrepute if you disagree with us. They want judges to know ‘we can get to your superiors.’ A courtroom should be as dispassionate as possible, but WATCH supports every female whether they are telling the truth or not.”
I look forward to this case and hope that something is done (internally or externally) to get WATCH to change their actions. They should be watching and reporting, not bullying and manipulating.