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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

October-28-97

NY Panel Orders Removal of Sexist, Racist Judge

The Commission on Judicial Conduct in New York ordered on Friday that Judge Lorin M. Duckman be removed, citing years of misconduct.

The panel found evidence that Duckman had abused his powers, purposely misapplied the law, and made insensitive remarks for the past several years. Commission Counsel Gerald Stern stated that Duckman had told a prosecutor that he liked her in short skirts, and another that she had nice legs. In addition, he called a prosecutor "Mr. Nuisance," mocked a blind lawyer by waving some papers in his face, and said that domestic violence should not be a crime.

The impetus for Duckman's removal was his decision on a domestic violence case in which an ex-convict was released and murdered his ex-girlfriend. Benito Oliver, who committed suicide after shooting Galina Komar, had past convictions for rape, drugs and weapons charges. Transcripts of the hearing showed that Duckman focused his attention on Oliver's dog, and doubted Komar's claim that she had been beaten repeatedly at knifepoint by Oliver. "There is no actual physical injury, is there, other than some bruising? I am not suggesting bruising is nice, but there is no disfigurement. There are no broken bones," he said to Komar. Duckman lowered Oliver's bail, and he was released soon after. He then shot Komar at her workplace and later shot himself.

When Komar's mother learned of the commission's recommendation, she cheered. "I'm glad! I'm glad! He put my daughter in the grave. How many people has he put in the grave?"

Media Resources: AP - October 28, 1997


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