California Judicial Watchdog Faces First Audit in 56 Years

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August 11, 2016 2:17 PM

In a unanimous vote from the consent calendar, members of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee in the California Legislature passed an historic request this morning to audit the California Commission on Judicial Performance for the first time since it was established in 1961. Since its inception, this small but powerful judicial oversight agency has operated in relative secrecy, until June of this year, when Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky’s lenient sentencing of Stanford University student rapist Brock Turner created a national outcry that unwittingly thrust the agency into the media spotlight.

“The Center for Public Integrity gave California an ‘F grade’ on its 2015 report card for judicial accountability, said Kathleen Russell, the executive director of the Center for Judicial Excellence. “California’s lack of judicial accountability is renowned, and it weakens the public’s trust in its judges,’ she continued, “so this audit is an important step toward creating a culture of accountability for our state’s nearly 2,000 judges.” Continue...

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