These Ethics Violations Are Making Me Firsty!

Comments under the name “lawmiss” about accused murderer Anthony Sowell on the Cleveland Plain Dealer website ( drew some attention from the website moderators when they violated the site’s comment policy for making improper personal attacks.

When the site administrators looked into it, they found that the comments used the e-mail address of Judge Shirley Safford, the judge in Sowell’s case.


Safford’s daughter is claiming the comments came from her, but she is refusing to discuss any details of the posts (possibly because she doesn’t know what they said), and has already retained a lawyer to represent her in…what, I’m not sure exactly.  It’s not a crime to violate a website’s terms and conditions.  Probably not a crime to write someone else’s e-mail address down.  Not really impersonating a judge, since the e-mail addresses aren’t seen by the audience.  Probably not a libel issue, since the posts are largely dealing with opinions, not factual claims.

Odds are the lawyer is just there to buffer Safford’s daughter from talking to the press and saying something that will reveal she doesn’t know what’s in the comments, which would of course make the mom-judge look guilty.  Before her lawyers stepped in, saying she wasn’t just going to sit there and be cross examined by the media, the daughter commented on how many posts she had made:

“Quite a few, more than five.”

Around 80 comments were made using the judge’s e-mail address.  Technically, more than five, but not really how someone who actually made the posts would describe the number.

And, just to clarify the type of stand-up individual the commenter is, here’s a bit of race baiting the commenter engaged in:

If a black guy had massacred five people then he would’ve received the death penalty.  A white guy does it and he gets pat on the hand. The jury didn’t care about the victims. They were set to cut him loose from day one. All of them ought to be ashamed.

The comment was made about triple-killer firefighter Terrence Hough Jr. (a whitey), who was sentenced to life without parole.  Maybe a black defendant similarly situated would have been given the death penalty, but I wouldn’t consider life without parole (aka: death in prison) to be a pat on the hand getting cut loose.  In lawmiss’s defense, she at least recognized that a black guy would have killed five people not just three.

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