Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Judge Jameson's Jocularity Jeopardizes Jurisprudence?

Posted By on Tue, Jun 19, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Former Metro councilman, Scene columnist and soon-to-be former General Sessions Court Judge Mike Jameson is a "hands-on" kind of elected official.

WSMV has a breaking news story on Jameson's penchant for physically interacting with defendants, a break with tradition that both humanizes his office and might put the entire justice system at risk for a terrorist attack — maybe.

Jameson encounters dozens of people, hears dozens of cases and receives dozens of guilty pleas. Some days, he hears 200 cases and hands down 100 sentences.

"If I am looking them in the eye, hearing their plea, and then giving them a recommendation and a sentence on the spot, that's the best way of dealing with it. This is sort of the M.A.S.H. unit of justice," Jameson said.

His court officers don't like his handshake practice, and the sheriff's office has told him it's a security risk. After all, he could keep everyone in the jury box and at the podium a safe distance away.

But that's not Jameson's style. For him, it's a handshake, a sentence and a small taste of human kindness.

But could that "small taste of human kindness" threaten the court's security and put lives at risk? Apparently, the Davidson County Sheriff's Office thinks so. As a compromise, Pith recommends Jameson report for work wearing a full-body hazmat suit, if he chooses to treat human beings like human beings. It's the only way to be safe.

But questions remain: Will Jameson's successor, Rachel Bell, put an end to the practice? You can bet WSMV will be there.

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