Defendants Sentenced by Drug-Using Judge Seek Case Review

Former Georgia federal judge Jack Camp was sentenced to 30 days for his illegal drug use. As I wrote here, his lawyers argued in their sentencing memorandum that Camp had brain damage:

Camp's sentencing statement contains a plethora of mitigation, from his bi-polar disorder for which he received the wrong kind of medication, to complications from a difficult operation for prostate cancer that required the removal of his entire prostate, to a bicycle accident in 2000 that caused brain damage. Interestingly, the defense says the temporal lobe damage caused by the accident didn't affect him cognitively, it just caused him to have poorer impulse control.

So from 2000 until his resignation in 2010 (which was required by the plea agreement) this judge, who was sentencing drug defendants and others to jail, was suffering from bi-polar disorder and temporal lobe damage, as well as engaging in illegal drug activity

The disclosures by Camp's lawyers have prompted several defendants to seek to resentencing and in some cases a new trial. [More..]

“Every case he handled from the time he was misdiagnosed, or before, depending on when he was affected by these conditions, should be re-evaluated,” said Marcia Shein, a Decatur appellate lawyer. “The question is: Did these conditions affect his ability to be an objective judge making fair decisions?”

Sally Yates, the U.S. Attorney says all requests are being evaluated.

Yates had said she would not oppose requests for new hearings from defendants sentenced by Camp during the time he consumed marijuana, cocaine, Xanax and roxicontin. Of the 16 people sentenced by Camp during that period, five have asked for new hearings. At least one has received less time.

Camp presided over 3,000 cases during the decade following his bicycle accident that caused his traumatic brain injury. The psychiatrist who examined him prior to sentencing insists his judgment functions weren't impaired.

“The part of his brain that would determine professional judgment in the courtroom was not damaged,....His ability to analyze and interpret the law was not impaired.”

Yet his lawyers wrote in one sentencing memo:

“The untreated mood cycling disorder and the trauma to the temporal lobe of his brain ... are serious and unambiguous factors affecting judgment.”

They meant his judgment concerning whether to take drugs and engage in reckless behavior. They were arguing his impulse control functions had been affected. They continue to vigorously deny his cognitive ability and his ability to reason or be objective in criminal cases were affected.

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  • Display: Sort:
    review all cases or none (none / 0) (#1)
    by diogenes on Wed Mar 23, 2011 at 08:25:42 PM EST
    If he were impaired, then ALL cases should be reviewed, and some people presumably should be getting MORE time as well as less.
    Of course, if the defense attorneys had nothing to object to during trials, then why suddenly do so years later?  Also, temporal problems do more affect impulses, as opposed to frontal lobe injuries that would more affect executive functions.

    The Plea Shoulsd Have Never Been Accepted (none / 0) (#2)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 10:21:37 AM EST
    All the experts, including the most important one, the judge, were well aware, at least according to their statements.

    No one did anything, which to me says they didn't think it was effecting his job performance.  They can toss in all the mumbo jumbo they want, no one complained or even questioned his abilities until after he was busted.

    Now, by cutting this deal, the state is gong to spend a boat load of cash retrying people already convicted, and good odds many of them aren't going to be convicted because of the time lapse.

    If this were me, or any of us not connected, the non-sense about brain damage and bi-polarness would be scrapped with the twinkie defense, make that a modern day twinkie defense.

    Sentencing judge is also impaired (none / 0) (#3)
    by Yes2Truth on Thu Mar 24, 2011 at 11:30:29 AM EST

    Sentencing judge is even more impaired than Camp.
    If Camp was Campos, he'd likely have been ordered
    to be held against his will for 30 years, not just
    30 days, which will likely only be 10 days, anyhow.

    comment deleted (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 12:58:22 AM EST
    for anonymous unsupported potentially libelous remarks. This is  not a rumor site.