Archive for Sunday, April 5, 2009

Judge’s 100 drug cases to be reviewed

April 5, 2009


— A prosecutor in Texas is promising to review about 100 drug cases that were presided over by a state judge who has been indicted on federal charges.

A federal grand jury in El Paso indicted State District Judge Manuel Barraza this past week on four counts including mail fraud, wire fraud and lying to a federal agent.

The indictment alleges the 53-year-old judge took cash bribes and asked for sex from defendants in exchange for his help in felony cases.

District Attorney Jaime Esparza said that the cases Barraza dismissed will be reviewed to determine whether justice was served. He told the El Paso Times that charges may be refiled in some cases.

The state has suspended the judge from his $140,000-a-year post. He is free on bail


Practicality 8 years, 8 months ago

Man, could the LJW be any more biased. I swear. Every single article they post about drugs tries to paint the Judicial System, Law Enforcement, our state legislators in a negative manner. This article is severely lacking in details concerning the title.

Did this Judge only preside over drug trials?

Were drug defendants the only ones that he tried to extort?

Are they reviewing any other type of convictions other than drug related ones?

Did he only exchange leniency for sex in drug related cases?

I think this is more about a crooked judge than drug cases LJW. Why don't you guys just come out with an Editorial backing your drug legalization stance already.


How about an article about the benefits of the Judicial System or Law Enforcement do for our society concerning Drugs. That would at least show both sides of the argument. It is called balanced news reporting. I think it is in Jouralism 101 up at KU.

Practicality 8 years, 8 months ago

They didn't have to print this article either. And, don't they come up with the title. It appears like just another shameful attempt by the LJW to pander to the hippies and pot-heads of Lawrence.

notajayhawk 8 years, 8 months ago

Donnuts (Anonymous) says…

"AP news reels rarely give more details than necessary especially in such “sensitive” cases."

Actually, the original AP stories, as they appear on their website and in other newspapers across the country, are usually about twice as long as what the award-winning LJW prints. (In this particular case, however, it appears this was the entire story - and headline - as distributed by the AP.)

Practicality 8 years, 8 months ago

Stand corrected about the title reference notajayhawk.

But, they still choose which stories to run, and it is not an accident that they chose this one.

notajayhawk 8 years, 8 months ago

No argument from me, Practicality; I found the story in lots of places, but some papers did omit the drug references from the headline. The Examiner in St. Louis, for example, changed the headline to "Judge indicted, state to review cases he dismissed," although the text of the story was identical (including the reference to drug cases in the first sentence).

Katara 8 years, 8 months ago "In November 2008, voters elected him as the first judge of Criminal District Court No. 1, created to primarily handle felony drug cases. "

Heaven forbid that someone actually look up the easily accessible info. 2nd article on a Google search under "District Judge Manuel Barraza".

Practicality 8 years, 8 months ago

It appears that it was a drug court, at least according to the El Paso Times. A little bit more information here.

"Barraza, 53, was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury on allegations that he agreed to trade judicial rulings for money and sexual favors.

The indictment refers to only one case, in which a female undercover agent from the FBI said Barraza sought sex from her in return for a favorable disposition in a drug case involving a friend.

Esparza said Barraza did not conduct any jury trials during his short stay on the bench. But the newly elected judge of Criminal District Court No. 1, the area's drug court, presided at hearings on evidence. It was in those proceedings that he dismissed about 100 cases.

According to district court records, an additional 90 defendants pleaded guilty before Barraza.

About 50 others received deferred sentences from him, meaning the cases against them could eventually be dismissed if they complied with court orders and stayed out of trouble.

"We're going to be reviewing these cases just to make sure everything was done properly," Esparza said."

The article goes on if anyone is interested.

Practicality 8 years, 8 months ago

Didn't see your post Katara,

Top of the morning to ya!

Practicality 8 years, 8 months ago

So, if I am reading this correctly, out of 240 cases, 100 were dismissed, 90 plead guilty, and 50 recieved a deferment. Hmmmmm, interesting. Yeah, they better review them all.

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