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The Habeas Citebook: Prosecutorial Misconduct - Header
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Ohio Supreme Court Permanently Removes Judge Who Engaged in Wide-Ranging Pattern of Misconduct

Fox News reported on Oct. 20, 2022, that the Ohio Supreme Court permanently suspended Judge Pinkey S. Carr in Cleveland, Ohio. Carr was removed from the bench after allegations and charges were leveled against her of a string of inappropriate behavior. Carr was fond of decorating her stand in the courtroom with knickknacks, including novelty items and dolls. She was reportedly also incredibly disrespectful to staff and those who appeared in front of her. She was also allegedly loose with her tongue, making jokes about accepting kickbacks and discussing inappropriate subjects with others in professional settings, including a TV show about a strip club. Carr also repeatedly violated dress standards in the courtroom, including wearing spandex pants, t-shirts, sneakers, and tank tops.

Former Judge Carr was also accused of ignoring a court order around the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. In March of 2020, an order was handed down to reschedule cases in the face of the virus. Carr allegedly ignored the guidance and continued on the next week with her previously scheduled proceedings. This decision had material consequences for those involved in the cases she forced forward. For those defendants who made their way to the courtroom, Carr waived court costs and fines. But those who did not appear before her as the country was locking down and the virus was spreading, she ordered arrested and placed on bonds of up to $10,000.

In March 2021, Carr was formally charged with five counts of “judicial misconduct.” Later, in justifying its decision to remove former Judge Carr from the bench, the Ohio Supreme Court explained that it had determined that even while Carr’s comments about bribes and having defendants supply court staff with food appeared to be jokes, such comments worked to undermine public confidence in the judicial system. As the disciplinary process around her case was caried out, Carr reportedly admitted to more than five-hundred statements of misconduct and facts that filled up 126 pages. On top of the behavior described above, she allegedly also held hearings without a prosecutor to avoid having to follow state law mandated safeguards in proceedings, including providing defendants with information regarding the right to counsel, the effects of different pleas, the identity of complainants, and the nature of charges levied against them. She also allegedly filed false court journal entries and used arrest to coerce fine payments.

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