Yale Law Review publishes Study on Judicial Corruption — Tip of the Iceberg


The Yale Law Review has published a study on judicial corruption.

While the study is extremely academic and scientific, and while it focuses solely on bribery, the fact that Yale Law Review recognizes judicial corruption is very helpful to our cause.

The study says corruption is a problem, but the authors don’t really seem to have a clue….

Here is the Yale Law Review Study on Judicial Corruption.

The report notes that the “study of corruption poses unique problems.  Corruption‚Äôs covert nature means that only a fraction of it is ever exposed.  Those cases that are discovered almost certainly share characteristics that led to their discovery.  Relying solely on discovered cases of corruption as a means of analysis is therefore a limited method that can provide a distorted view of how much and what kind of corruption actually exists.  This limitation has led scholars to rely on survey data of public perceptions of corruption as a proxy for the amount of corruption that exists.  The accuracy or inaccuracy of such perceptions notwithstanding, relying solely on public perceptions of corruption is bound toconstrain the specificity of the conclusions.”

“While the small sample size of corrupt judges limits the certainty of our findings, the study suggests there is a troubling gap in our efforts to prevent and prosecute judicial corruption. Of the thirty-eight judges studied in this case, thirty had engaged in corrupt acts other than the ones that led directly to their removal or conviction. That they were eventually caught is heartening, but it remains unclear how many other cases are being overlooked.

 “Even assuming these judges comprise a large share of a very small group of ‘bad apples,’ the many instances in which they were able to act corruptly without consequence is revelatory of deficiencies in our anticorruption institutions.  This Note has attempted to shed light on these deficiencies by investigating the incentives that drive judicial bribery. B oth the model and the sample suggest that corruption in civil and traffic cases seems especially prone to going undetected as compared to bribery in criminal cases.  The discovery of bribery in the latter type of case is largely due to the incentive that criminal defendants have to report the corrupt judge in return for lesser charges in their present proceeding.  This same incentive, however, is not found when bribes are made by lawyers, civil parties, or traffic defendants.  Without it, unearthing corrupt relationships depends upon rare tips by third parties.  Expanding upon the sample of judicial bribes analyzed in this Note would prove helpful in establishing the robustness of these findings.  Ways to bolster efforts to prevent corruption in civil and traffic cases, including through the creation of analogous incentives for defection, should be explored.

I learned from this study that there were 102.4 million cases filed in state courts in 2006 and about 2.1 million cases filed in federal courts.  104,000,000 cases.  I suspect that dishonesty, corruption, and criminal acts are committed in tens of millions of cases every year.  This number of 104,000,000 is incredible, but the authors of this study cite COURT STATISTICS PROJECT, EXAMINING THE WORK OF STATE COURTS 12 (2007), available at http://www.ncsconline.org/D_Research/csp/2007_files/Examining%20Final%20-%202007%20-%201%20-%20Whole%20Doc.pdf.

The authors of this study do not really have a clue about the scope of the problem or the wide variety of ways that judges commit corrupt acts: 

How Judges Commit Crimes

Our friend Joe Norman asks: “Just WHY does Congress ignore the problem?   Certainly it is more important than steroid abuse in Major League Baseball.  Help make a giant FLUSHING SOUND when you vote this year, and vote out the incumbents.”

I’m all for that.  Voting is easy.  Regardless of party, vote for anyone but an incumbent.

William M. Windsor

I, William M. Windsor, am not an attorney.  This website expresses my OPINIONS.   The comments of visitors or guest authors to the website are their opinions and do not therefore reflect my opinions.  Anyone mentioned by name in any article is welcome to file a response.   This website does not provide legal advice.  I do not give legal advice.  I do not practice law.  This website is to expose government corruption, law enforcement corruption, political corruption, and judicial corruption.  Whatever this website says about the law is presented in the context of how I or others perceive the applicability of the law to a set of circumstances if I (or some other author) was in the circumstances under the conditions discussed.  Despite my concerns about lawyers in general, I suggest that anyone with legal questions consult an attorney for an answer, particularly after reading anything on this website.  The law is a gray area at best.  Please read our Legal Notice and Terms. 

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