A Staff Member’s Opinion| A former Democrat juvenile court judge was forcibly dragged out of a Cincinnati courtroom on Monday after she was sentenced to jail, reports say. The judge, Tracie Hunter, who took the bench after she won a disputed election in 2010, was taken out of the courtroom on Monday by a deputy with her arms under Hunter’s shoulders. Hunter appeared to go limp as she was removed from the room.
Fox News reports, “Supporters stood and yelled in anger, and deputies intercepted a woman who tried to rush” to Hunter.
“There were more demonstrations outside the Hamilton County Courthouse, and civil rights activists said there will be boycotts or other actions in protest. Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Patrick Dinkelacker ordered her six-month jail sentence carried out after a contentious hearing in which he read from postcards with critical comments sent to his home in support of Hunter. He called them an apparent intimidation attempt that ‘flat-out failed,'” Fox reports.
It was reported by Fox 19 that Dinkelacker read a letter that was sent by Prosecutor Joe Deters which stated that the former judge has “never once shown remorse.”
“She has been incredibly disrespectful to you and the justice system,” Deters penned.
The prosecutor went on to say that he “believes she has some sort of medical condition.”
Deters, who is a Republican, claimed that Hunter should be evaluated by medical professionals.
On Monday, Democratic Sheriff Jim Neil stated that Hunter would be housed in the medical facility center at the jail. She is to be monitored by “medical professionals and security staff,” according to Fox.
“Ms. Hunter’s well-being and safety will be my No. 1 priority,” Neil explained in a statement, going on to say that his staff will assess the former judge’s “eligibility for early-release programs.”
Defense attorney for Hunter, David Singleton, said that the former judge has already has “endured years of uncertainty and lost her job and law license for what he called an unjust conviction and a sentence that is out of proportion,” according to Fox.
“I can’t believe Deters would ask for her to be evaluated. There is no issue whatsoever about her not being competent or understanding. Absolutely not,” he stated, Fox 19 reported.
“She has gotten up each morning not knowing whether that was going to be the day she was going to jail,” he added. “I know the impact that this has had on her life. We believe it would be profoundly unjust and unfair and a waste of taxpayer dollars to incarcerate her even for a minute.”
Hunter, 52, had gone to multiple courts to challenge her 2014 conviction and sentence on a felony count of unlawful interest in a public contract, which charged that she provided a confidential document to her brother when he faced a disciplinary hearing in his court job.
A federal judge in May rejected her bid to avoid jail.
She had stood trial on other counts that were dismissed after jurors couldn’t agree on a verdict.
Attorneys for Hunter have contended the case against her was political.
Deters also asked Republican Gov. Mike DeWine to consider commuting her sentence. However, DeWine spokesman Dan Tierney said Monday afternoon that the office hadn’t received a request for clemency from Hunter herself, The Associated Press reported.