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Judge Tammy Kemp was a guest on The Tamron Hall Show on Thursday, Oct. 10. The embattled judge came under fire for hugging former Dallas cop Amber Guyger after she was found guilty of killing 26-year-old accountant Botham Jean in his own apartment.

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In previous interviews Kemp defended her behavior, saying Guyger asked her twice for a hug. Kemp also said she gave Guyger her personal Bible because the 31-year-old promised to return it after she completes her 10-year prison sentence.

Kemp's court bailiff was also criticized for appearing to comfort Guyger by primping her hair in the courtroom.

When Hall asked Kemp to explain the bailiff's actions, Kemp said "Guyger had been found guilty of murder... and we were on a lunch break. However, I couldn't send her to the jail to be frisked. So we asked a female bailiff to stay with her throughout the lunch break. And if you know anything about the jail, you gotta search every part of a person, including their hair."

But critics of the judge and the bailiff say officers never conduct searches for razor blades or other contraband with their bare hands.
 

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CBSDFW News

Judge Tammy Kemp sat down with media outlets to explain why she hugged convicted ex-cop Amber Guyger, and gave her a Bible after her murder trial ended.

The embattled judge didn't just give Guyger any Bible, she went back to her judge's chambers to retrieve her own personal Bible to give the departing killer.

Kemp was criticized by legal experts and the public after she appeared to show bias toward the former Dallas police officer who was convicted of killing 26-year-old accountant Botham Jean in his own apartment last year.

Kemp wiped away tears as she told CNN she thought it would be "rude" not to hug Guyger after she hugged Jean's family members.

She said Guyger asked her, "Do you think God will forgive me?" Kemp said yes and, Guyger added, "'Well, I don't have a Bible. I don't own a Bible, and I don't know where to start.' And I said I will get you a Bible."

“And that's when I went to retrieve my Bible and gave it to her." Kemp also said, "She did tell me she'd bring my Bible back in 10 years."

Kemp said she told Guyger, "Brandt Jean has forgiven you. Please forgive yourself, so you can have a purposeful life. And she asked me, 'Do you think my life can still have a purpose?' And I said, 'I know it can.'"

Kemp said Guyger asked for a hug twice. "I'm embarrassed to say that she had to ask me twice," Kemp told CBSDFW News.

"When I looked at her and saw how she was hurting, of course I agreed to give her a hug."

Kemp responded to the backlash from critics who say she never shows empathy toward Black defendants in court.

"Frankly, I don't think I would be getting this criticism if Miss Guyger were a Black woman," Kemp said. "I hate that we limit our compassion to one race."
 

 

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Law & Crime/YouTube.com

The Dallas judge who hugged Amber Guyger said the former cop asked her for a hug and for help seeking God's forgiveness.

Judge Tammy Kemp was widely criticized by legal experts and the public after she embraced Guyger and gave her a Bible at the end of Guyger's murder trial.

Kemp told The Associated Press that she believed her actions were appropriate since Guyger said she didn't understand how to begin seeking God's forgiveness for killing accountant Botham Jean, 26.

"She asked me if I thought that God could forgive her and I said, 'Yes, God can forgive you and has,'" Kemp said. "If she wanted to start with the Bible, I didn't want her to go back to the jail and to sink into doubt and self-pity and become bitter. Because she still has a lot of life ahead of her following her sentence and I would hope that she could live it purposefully."

Kenneth Williams, a professor at the South Texas College of Law in Houston, told The NY Post: "[Kemp] has indicated an affinity or sympathy for the defendant."

And attorney Sherrilyn Ifill tweeted that a judge should remain impartial and unbiased in a court of law.

However, Kemp said she never acknowledged her Christian faith in court previously or provided a defendant with a Bible, but Guyger told her she didn't have a Bible at the end of the trial. Kemp said Guyger asked her for a hug twice.

“Following my own convictions, I could not refuse that woman a hug. I would not," Kemp said defiantly.

She also responded to the anger of Black people who wondered why she didn't show the same empathy for Black defendants.

"I don't understand the anger. And I guess I could say if you profess religious beliefs and you are going to follow them, I would hope that they not be situational and limited to one race only," Kemp said.

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An ethics complaint has been filed against a Dallas, Texas judge who hugged former cop Amber Guyger and gave her a Bible following her guilty verdict on Wednesday.

Guyger, who is white, was found guilty of murder and sentenced to 10 years in prison for fatally shooting 26-year-old accountant Botham Jean, an unarmed Black man who was relaxing in his own apartment when Guyger barged in.

Judge Tammy Kemp fueled outrage when she embraced Guyger in court and handed her a Bible after Guyger was sentenced on Wednesday, Oct. 2.

The judge's actions prompted many to question why Black defendants aren't treated the same way.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation filed an ethics complaint against the judge with the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct on Thursday.

The FFRF group said Kemp went too far by embracing the former cop in court and praying with her before Guyger was shipped off to prison.

The FFRF called Judge Kemp's behavior inappropriate and unconstitutional.

After a victim impact statement by Jean's brother, Brandt Jean, he told Guyger he loved her and embraced her.

Then Kemp embraced Guyger and spoke with her before leaving the courtroom and returning with her personal Bible.

She turned the pages to John 3:16 and told Guyger, "This is where you start." She continued, saying, "He has a purpose for you," referring to God.

In the complaint, the FFRF said Judge Kemp, "Handled a difficult trial with grace" but that she "signaled to everyone watching... that she is partial to Christian reform and Christian notions of forgiveness."

Legal experts have noted that the hug and the Bible could cause a conflict if Guyger files an appeal, which her attorneys have stated she will.

Other legal experts weighed in, saying Kemp's actions bordered on judicial misconduct.

"I did not see why the judge did what she did," said C. Victor Lander, a former municipal judge who spent 27 years behind the bench.

"Once there's an appearance that the judges are not impartial, we lose our entire criminal justice system," Lander said.
 

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Law & Crime/YouTube.com

Legal experts are weighing in on the behavior of a Dallas, Texas judge after a former cop was convicted of shooting her unarmed neighbor in his own apartment.

Guyger, who is white, was found guilty of murder and sentenced to 10 years in prison for fatally shooting 26-year-old accountant Botham Jean, an unarmed Black man who was relaxing in his own apartment when Guyger barged in.

Legal experts say Judge Tammy Kemp, who is Black, demonstrated poor judgment and inappropriate behavior when she left the bench to embrace Guyger and hand her a Bible after the guilty verdict was announced on Tuesday, Oct. 1.

According to The Washington Post, legal experts says a judge hugging a defendant and giving her a Bible was "not only rare but inappropriate."

Kenneth Williams, a professor at the South Texas College of Law in Houston, told The Post: "[Kemp] has indicated an affinity or sympathy for the defendant."

Other legal experts noted that the hug and the Bible could cause a conflict if Guyger files an appeal, which her attorneys have stated she will.

President and Director-Counsel of LDF (NAACP Legal Defense and Educational) Sherrilyn Ifill tweeted that a judge should remain impartial and unbiased in a court of law.

"A judge is not an average citizen. She is not the victim... She must, especially in a case that arouses passion and conflict like this one, stand for impartial justice. She may speak words from the bench. This is too much."

Others noted that Judge Kemp allowed Guyger's defense to use the Castle Doctrine defense, which is usually reserved for homeowners who stand their ground. The Castle Doctrine justifies deadly force when an intruder enters an occupied home.

Kemp also instructed the jurors to consider a "sudden passion" defense while determining Guyger's punishment. The sudden passion defense reduced the sentencing range from 2 to 20 years.