Judicialmisconduct refers to actions taken by judges, which are considered tobe unethical and interfere with the impartiality of the judges(Champion,Hartley & Rabe, 2012). Thereare different types of judicial misconduct and their significancevaries depending on potential impact they have on parties to a givencase. Some of the key types of judicial misconduct includeintemperance, prejudice, impaired examination of witnesses,prejudgment, forcing the waiver of a given right, ex-partecommunications, improper communication with other juries, and lack ofcommitment about matters that are pending in court (Repa, 2014).
Althoughall forms of judicial misconduct are considered to be unethical andunacceptable, there are some that are more significant than others.Prejudice or bias in a hearing is the worst form of judicialmisconduct that a judge can commit. Prejudice, as a form ofmisconduct occurs when the judge makes a ruling against one of theparties in a given case on the grounds of their socialcharacteristics (such as race, color, religion, or age), whiledisregarding the evidence presented before the court (Repa, 2014).This form of prejudice is ranked as the worst because it can resultin unfair imprisonment or the imposition of fines to an innocentparty irrespective of the defense presented before the court.
Someforms of corruption in the criminal judicial system deserve moreattention than others depending on their impact on the process ofrendering justice. For example, receiving evidence outside the courtis considered a judicial misconduct, but it does not lead to unfairimprisonment or fines. Prejudice, on the other hand, can result in anunfair ruling based on social characteristics rather than theevidence available. This implies that prejudice deserves moreattention than then the act of receiving evidence outside the court.
Champion,D., Hartley, R. & Rabe, G. (2012). Criminalcourts: Structure, process, and issues (3rd ed.).Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.
Repa,K. (2014). Judicial misconduct: Judges behaving badly. CLECenter Home.Retrieved August 3, 2014, fromhttps://www.dailyjournal.com/cle.cfm?show=CLEDisplayArticle&qVersionID=85&eid=821923&evid=1