U. S. District Judge Robert “Robbie” James all but apologized to former Louisiana state senator Charles Jones before sentencing him on his conviction for tax evasion – 27 months in jail and restitution of over $300 thousand.
See here an official transcript of James’ remarks obtained earlier today by Lincoln Parish News Online (LPNO).
Some of the more choice remarks by James:
I’d also like to — and I know Mr. Jones has mentioned this, but to thank his family, friends and community for their support, not only in this case and for this Defendant, but for all other defendants that come before this court.
Mr. Jones, you come from a remarkable family. You can be seated. And I guess a family that reflects many of the problems of our history and of our country, but also much of the promise of our country. Your parents must have been something to raise the children that they did, and I know that they had to be extremely proud of all of you.
And, of course, I have tried to apply those guidelines, while at the same time, taking into consideration Mr. Jones’s exceptional record of service to the community.
Mr. Jones, I would say one thing else, I know this a hard day for you and your family, but I think you’ll have a lot more opportunity to serve, and I look forward to the day when you can do that.
We know all about “justice, tempered with mercy.” But this obsequious drivel from a Federal Judge is entirely too much. We wonder if the REAL public servants – the taxpayers who pay James’ salary and benefits and who paid Jones’ salary during his terms of office – ever get this kind of speech before the jailhouse door slams shut on them after trial?
This claptrap is an insult to the Rule of Law and a slap in the face to the taxpayers who every day go about their jobs, pay their taxes and obey the law.
Is it too much to ask that a judge just do his damn job instead of making excuses for the typical Louisiana felon that has infected this state for too long?
Walter Abbott is the publisher of Lincoln Parish News Online, where this piece originally appeared.