By Steve Bell
Kansas City, MO – JAIL for Judges proposes a constitutional amendment to establish a standing grand jury to investigate all complaints against state judges. Jurors would be compensated, and would have to be laypersons with no connection to attorneys or the court. JAIL cites low punishment rates by existing judicial review commissions in all states, and suggests that judges control the panels because attorneys are afraid of them. The group also contends that the concept of judicial immunity from monetary lawsuits related to decisions is unconstitutional.
The Missouri Bar association says the current review commission, composed of two judges, two attorneys, and two laypersons appointed by the governor is working well. They emphasize that judges are not immune to criminal prosecutions, and challenge the JAIL group to present actual cases where complaints were mishandled by the Missouri judicial review commission.