No photo

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."
 

 

No photo

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.

No photo

Law & Crime/YouTube.com

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.
 

No photo

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.
 

Judge Jerri Collins

A heartless judge who jailed a domestic violence victim for refusing to testify against her abuser now admits she was wrong.

Seminole County (Orlando) Judge Jerri Collins was drunk with power when she cruelly jailed a weeping domestic violence victim in July.

Read more »

judge

The Canadian Judicial Council is reviewing the improper conduct of a judge after he blamed a 19-year-old rape victim for not doing enough to prevent her rape.

The teenager accused her rapist of sexually assaulting her as she bent over a bathroom sink at a party in 2014.

Federal Court Justice Robin Camp, who presided over the rapist's trial, asked the woman, "Why couldn't you just keep your knees together?"

Read more »

Last night CBS Atlanta aired part 1 of its investigative series into the federal probe of judicial misconduct in Fulton County.

In September, Tameka Foster-Raymond's attorney, Lisa West, filed a Motion for Recusal, accusing Judge Bensonetta Tipton-Lane of bias in light of Judge Lane's close ties with Usher Raymond's attorney, John Mayoue, who contributed to Judge Lane's reelection campaign.

In a controversial move in September, Judge Lane awarded Usher Raymond full custody of his two boys, ages 3 and 4. Prior to the ruling he shared custody with his ex-wife Tameka Foster-Raymond.

Watch the CBS segment after the break. Video courtesy of Hiphopenquirer.com.

Read more »