It's so hard to be a saint in the city."
Bruce Springsteen, It's Hard to be a Saint in the City.
When scandals like this happen there is always a natural inclination to believe that there is more to come. Some sources tell us that there are more bailiffs involved and other sources tell us absolutely not. There really is no way to tell. But know this: this was not the only improper/illegal referral of cases occurring in the REGJB. Not even close.
What do you think? Was this the only bailiff doing this?
NEW ID INSTRUCTIONS IN NEW JERSEY
New Jersey has become one of the first states to recognize the problems inherent with eye witness identification. A judge now must tell jurors before deliberations begin that "for example, stress levels, distance or poor lighting can undercut an eyewitness’s ability to make an accurate identification. Factors like the time that has elapsed between the commission of a crime and a witness’s identification of a suspect or the behavior of a police officer during a lineup can also influence a witness" the new instructions warn.
New NJ Instruction On eyewitness identification
Very Version Final Final Final Sharp-5xxxx-2
There is something unsettling about the bailiff scandal. It's hard to put our finger on it. Something about the client being called by the bailiff for money and more money and then a gift. Something about the lawyer letting the bailiff run the client in terms of quoting and collecting the fee. It just makes all of us look bad. We're not calling for anyone to be disbarred or for the bailiff to go to prison. We're just saying the whole episode is unseemly and it reflects badly on our profession and it cheapens what we do. In the end, that's what the punishment in this case (if there is any) needs to reflect. The effect on our profession, our courts, our reputation.
The more we think about this mess, the worse we feel.
But a nice summer weekend is coming up. Get outside and enjoy it.