Tuesday, January 17, 2012

January 17, 2012 Special Judge in Baumgartner's Misconduct Hearing Urges Knoxville Legal Community To Report Misconduct

Last Thursday, Special Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood denied the request by the Knox District Attorney's Office to immediately appeal Blackwood's ruling that the four Christian-Newsom torture-murder defendants must be retried due to "structural flaws" in the initial trials presided over by former Knox Criminal Judge Richard Baumgartner. 

Baumgartner, who finally resigned from office and is now drawing a handsome $4900/mo pension from the State of Tennessee, was found to have been taking various drugs and engaging in other misconduct during the Christian-Newsom and other trials.

Blackwood chastised members of the DA's office and others who apparently knew that Judge Baumgartner appeared impaired in the courtroom but who did not report it and thus let the trials--that will now have to be re-done--continue.

Blackwood sent a message to the entire legal community: "There is a canon of both the (state) Board of Professional Responsibility as well as a canon of judicial ethics that it is a mandatory duty to report a lawyer or judge whenever their fitness is called into question."

[Blackwood didn't mention that he himself failed to read the entire TBI file before agreeing to the plea deal that granted Baumgartner "diversion." ]

The News- Sentinel article is here.

A previous post and other links are here.

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