A few weeks ago, when sentencing a white juvenile, here's what Judge Moran said: "I can look out at the family, they are middle class, white, just as I am, and I say would the same thing happen if it was a black kid or Hispanic kid? So I want you to know that you are being given a break, and I hope that everybody in this room would give the same break to everybody." He was effectively telling this boy he got a "break" because he's white.
In his supposed apology today, he just digs a deeper hole. Now he's saying this is what he really meant: "When I have a young white teenager in front of me who has all the benefits of society and he is treated leniently, it's important to point out to him that people of color, different ethnicity might conclude we have two systems of justice."
His earlier statement, he explains, was "inarticulate."
This is the first time I've heard a racial slur explained as poor grammar. Ron Angle should have tried that one. Moran's explanation is baloney, and was designed to cover his tracks for what was clearly a racial remark. I understand this is how the system works, but never thought I'd ever hear a local judge admit he gives "breaks" to people based on their race. He had an opportunity to apologize, but opted instead to do some spinning. I hope his statement to the written media is better than the garbage he handed to Channel 69.
As I told you yesterday, Moran's behavior has been erratic. He started screaming two weeks ago in the courthouse rotunda (in the presence of the public) over the placement of Northampton County's Liberty Bell. He had to send a written apology to local lawyers who were subjected to one of his tirades in a social setting. And on the bench, he has been known to fly off the handle without warning, and thinks nothing of making lawyers and their clients wait for an hour or more after he schedules a court session.
Now this kind of behavior is normal for a blogger. We're nuts. But a judge?
I knew Bill Moran when he was just a lawyer and he was one of the nicest guys in the world. I hope, for his own sake, that he gets help. If he doesn't, he needs to resign because his judicial temperament is gone. Without that, he is going to start hurting others.
Moran's Explanation to the Press:
The Express Times this morning published Moran's attempted explanation of his bizarre behavior, in which he claims he was misunderstood and challenges anyone to point to any remarks he's ever made that shows otherwise. Well, gee, Judge, see above. His explanation lacks three simple but very important words - I am sorry. Even a judge needs to admit when he's wrong.
The Express Times put it best this morning, when it concluded Moran's remarks may not have gone far enough "to indict any one jurist or a system, but enough to erode some people's confidence in the courts' duty to be fair."