The Michigan Supreme Court issued its decision on the 10 counts of alleged judicial misconduct against Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Bruce U. Morrow.
The decision follows a formal complaint filed by the Judicial Tenure Commission that cited the 10 counts of alleged misconduct in eight different criminal cases Judge Morrow presided over.
Some of the alleged misconduct included:
- Improperly closing the courtroom during a hearing
- Ordering the court reporter not to prepare a transcript
- Failing to sentence defendants in accordance with the law
- Refusing to remand a defendant convicted of sexually assaulting a minor
- Improperly dismissing cases
- Failing to place a sidebar on record
- Leaving the bench at the beginning of the trial to shake hands with the defendant
The opinion issued by the Supreme Court stated, "In sum, we agree with the JTC that respondent failed to adhere to the high standards of professional conduct that our Constitution, court rules, and canons of judicial conduct require of judicial officers."
The JTC recommended a 90-day suspension for the misconduct complaints. However, the Supreme Court decided that Judge Morrow will be suspended, without pay, for 60 days.
In Chief Justice Young's concurring and dissenting opinion he stated:
"We do not permit our citizens to be lawless and we cannot tolerate a judge, who has taken an oath to uphold the law, to disrespect the law as he applies it to those who come before him. Few things are less acceptable than a judicial system that tolerates legal rogues who wear black robes -- even good-hearted ones."