Judge Violated Rules of Judicial Ethics During War Machine's Sentencing Hearing
First read about this on MiddleEasy.com where they then linked to this original article on Yahoo.com:
Coming off a recent victory against Rodger Huerta, mixed marital arts fighter War Machine was recently signed by Bellator Fighting. In a effort to get his life back in order he decided to return to Las Vegas in order to settle an old legal matter. On September 29th, 2011, he submitted a plea of guilty to a charge of battery with substantial bodily harmed based off a plea agreement he made with District Attorney David J. Roger, which, in part, stipulated that War Machine would not receive any jail time.
On February 2, 2012, he came before Judge Valerie Adair for sentencing. Judge Valerie Adair ignored the agreement and sentenced War Machine to one year in jail. The following opinion is based off a review of the official transcripts of the proceeding.
Judge Valerie Adair violated Canon 2 Rule 2.3(b)
During the sentencing hearing Judge Adair engaged in a variety of behavior which violates the Nevada Code of Judicial Conduct. First, she disparaged his profession by insisting his employment as a professional mixed martial arts competitor was not a real job. And, because of his career selection, He had therefore made no meaningful contribution to society. Canon 2 Rule 2.3 (b) of the Nevada Code of Judicial Conduct states in part that "A judge shall not, in the performance of judicial duties, by words or conduct manifest bias or prejudice, or engage in harassment, including but not limited to bias, prejudice, or harassment based uponů socioeconomic status." Socioeconomic status is commonly defined as an economic and sociological combined total measure of a person's work experience and of an individual. Clearly, a person's occupation falls within this definition. His primary occupation has been that of a mixed martial arts competitor since 2004. Her comments were not only discourteous, but were derogatory in nature. This line of verbal attacked continued well beyond his profession and became personal as Judge Adair alleged War Machine abused drugs. Judge Adair has no facts or evidence to base such a claim. Mixed Martial Arts competition requires a person to maintain a very elite level of fitness, which is and has been accomplished by many persons without the use of illegal enhancements. In the comments that follow the aforementioned rule it states that "irrelevant references to personal characteristics" also qualify as harassment. She engaged in such harassing conduct on a number of occasions by commenting on his physique and overall appearance which are simply baseline standards for a professional fighter not named Roy Nelson. It appears that she completely disregarded the plea agreement, which was agreed upon by both parties, because of her personal feelings which were based upon an unjustified bias towards mixed martial arts competitors. Furthermore, Judge Adair's comments against his occupation and body, were not just unnecessary and unprofessional, they were harassment.
Judge Valerie Adair violated Canon 2 Rule 2.8(b)
Canon 2 Rule 2.8 (b) of the Nevada Code of Judicial Conduct states in part that "a judge shall be patient, dignified, and courteous to litigants, jurors, witnesses, lawyers, court staff, court officials, and others with whom the judge deals in an official capacity." However, despite this order to be "courteous" and "dignified," Judge Valerie Adair was verbally abusive. Moreover, she repeatedly, and without evidence, accused War Machine of utilizing drugs - this is simply disrespectful and unjust. Throughout the proceeding she rapidly bombarded him with painful insults which maybe seen in the court transcripts. Judge Adair's actions, comments, criticism, and pure lack of professional candor are a clear violation of her duties under this rule, and most importantly, is unbecoming of her as a representative of the Nevada Judiciary.
Judge Valerie Adair violated Canon 2 Rule 2.5 (b)
Canon 2 Rule 2.5(b) of the Nevada Code of Judicial Conduct states that "a judge shall cooperate with other judges and court officials in the administration of court business." As mentioned above, District Attorney David J. Rodger and War Machine came to a plea agreement. However, Judge Adair apparently had no regard, respect, or concern for the agreement between the parties and completely disregarded the agreement. Giving no weight, care or concern to the deal reached by the State, demonstrates a clear intention to not cooperate. Why should one even make a plea if the judge will just do anything she want's because of how a person looks, or more importantly, what they do to put food on the table? Because of Judge Adair's conduct and her dereliction of duty to cooperate, Judge Adair violated Canon 2 Rule 2.5 (b). Her apparent willingness to disregard plea agreements begs the question, If defendants can not trust that the agreements they have made with the District Attorney will be honored by a judge, what reason, if any do they have to agree to waive their right to a jury trial? Judge Adair's conduct will eventually stifle the judicial system causing unnecessary delays and importantly, freeing criminals or other persons from crimes because they instead choose to go to trial instead of pleading out. If she is allowed to continue with this blatant disregard for plea agreements eventually defendants will know not to enter into them when appearing before her and the system will be clogged with unnecessary jury trials.Judge Adair should be sanctioned for her conduct in this case and Nevada voters should think twice before reelecting her..