Good ruling, and obviously not a hard one.
Wisconsin’s infamous “baby mama” case got a new spin Wednesday when the state Supreme Court backed a judge’s use of the phrase at a sentencing and reversed an appeals court decision that had said the defendant deserved a new sentencing because of the judge’s comments.
In a rare 7-0 ruling, the court rejected the appeals court notion that if a reasonable observer might think racial or gender stereotypes influenced the trial judge, Landray Harris deserved a new hearing. Rather, the high court found, Harris needed to show by clear and convincing evidence that then-Circuit Judge Joe Wall did base his sentence on such inappropriate factors, and the justices found he did not.
Wall, who left the bench in 2007 to rejoin the U.S. attorney’s office, managed a chuckle Wednesday when observing that he somehow managed to bring unanimity to Wisconsin’s often-fractured high court.
“Race was never a factor in this case, and Harris’ sentencing attorney told your newspaper as much,” he said, referring to the original coverage of the appeals court ruling in January 2009.
Man, we all need to grow a bit thicker skin.