Friday, 4 November 2011

The abusive thuggery of Judge William Adams

Here is an example of some thuggery.

It is the thuggery of a judge.

And I am afraid it is quite disturbing.

(His daughter is interviewed here.)

The statement of Judge William Adams in response to this posted video is here.

What is particularly revolting about this complacent and evasive statement is that nowhere - at all - is there any realisation that the abuse is unacceptable.

It really is quite an astonishing read.

And this is a person who sits in judgment over others.


No purely anonymous comments will be published; always use a name for ease of reference by other commenters.


Hamish said...

Ah, the classic "two wrongs make a right" defence.

Not to mention the "I said I was sorry, didn't I?". Let's hope that Bubba extends him the same courtesy afterwards.

Jack said...

I find it hard to imagine that any reasonable person, whether opposed to corporal punishment or not (I'm not, FWIW), would not see this as being totally beyond the pale. That there can be any question as to whether this constitutes a criminal assault (as it surely must in any civilised jurisdiction) frankly beggars belief.

The total loss of self-control and abusive and intimidating language alone demonstrate unfitness to sit in judgement over others. The sheer brutality of the attack demonstrates unfitness to walk the streets.

Whatever the daughter's motive in posting the video, the judge's statement, reminiscent as it is of a shark defence lawyer seeking to discredit a rape victim, is a disgrace. With the exception of the last few lines it is entirely irrelevant to the events in the video (consisting, rather, of a series of unsupported ad hominem attacks). The attempt to apportion equal blame to his wife (who, whilst clearly not guiltless, is obviously uncomfortable with the level of violence and makes some attempt to restrain her husband) speaks to a lack of objectivity (or of honesty) wholly incompatible with his office.


Clare Slaney said...

That poor, poor child. How brave of her to film this disgusting man and woman. People who seek power are all too often maniacs.

rjh01 said...

I should hope that he will be removed from his job. That in my view goes way beyond what a father should be able to do to a 16 year old daughter.

I should also hope that all cases where he sat in judgement be reviewed.

kris said...

I've already faxed his senior judge in Aransas County, the relevant state senators, rick perry, the state judicial committee as well as the chief justice of the Texas supreme court.

Remarkably, there is some confusion of Texas lawyers whether the conduct displayed in the video is a crime. Even if it is, I understand there is a statute of limitations.

I have therefore drafted my letters on the basis that he has brought the Texas judiciary into world-wide disrepute not only by the conduct, but by his inability to recognise the conduct as abuse. I hope they will consider this highly relevant, given he's the FAMILY judge.

kris said...

The Texas judicial standards committee apparently does not have teeth and that the voters (elected judiciary) are generally the final arbiters of who sits in their county.

Nevertheless, the judicial committee is influential with the final decision, in the hands of the Texas supreme court. It's an uphill climb trying to oust an elected judge other than by public vote (in 3 yrs time) but the momentum of these events might just do it.

I invite readers of this blog to pile in.

vjohn82 said...

Forget him being a Judge for a moment; this is a man who has completely lost control of himself and is inflicting sustained punishment on another human being.

The fear of the young girl was more than evident and sometimes the fear is worse than the physical pain because wounds heal.

The statement however is from a Judge. A man who has calmed down, probably realises the gravity of his actions and is now looking for a defence. As pointed out above, it's the "two wrongs make a right" argument. If anything, it makes him look even worse and I hope that the book is thrown at him.

Sad thing is, not all kids are strong enough to be able to do what this brave girl did. It's the silent majority who have to put up with this abuse day in, day out.

JustGerri said...

Wow. Just wow. Horrific bullying for what? A 16 year old being a 16 year old. This man (and woman since she didn't try to stop it she took the belt off him then waded in herself) completely lost control, bullied the child into submission, threatened her with being thrown out of the house and STILL think it was ok to do that years later?

Yup he's a judge, a family judge at that. All his past judgements should be called into question and he should be removed from office immediately - he's a disgrace.

@neverfadingwood said...

The judge's response is absolutely outrageous. Whatever the daughter's reason for posting this now, it's evident that the judge has serious problems.

Anyone who believes that that sort of treatment is appropriate for a child, or indeed anyone, is well and truly disturbed.

zamzara64 said...

His response, in particular, really is beyond disgusting and removes any doubt, for me, that he is unfit for office.

"Hillary Adams is
articulate, possesses a superior IQ, and is capable of
functioning as a productive adult in today’s complex
society" - So what? Maybe the victim of that robbery in my town last week is functioning well too, it is no defence whatsoever.

"Very few people find palatable her
claim that it was to “help” her father" - Well so what? If she was posting it to expose him and ruin his career, that would be fine.

"William Adams regrets the interruption and
inconvenience his daughter’s post has caused to the Aransas
County, Texas community." and "The public may ponder what consideration
Hillary Adams gave her little sister before subjecting the
entire family to world-wide microscopic scrutiny," - Absolutely unbelievable. This is the displacement tactic Christopher Hitchens talks about when recalling the Rushdie violence: blame the victim by transferring the blame to the 'affair' rather than the wrongful actions.

ecrimeblog said...

Thuggery is exactly the word. As has already been alluded to by the comments above, this video provokes several questions, which ought to be kept fairly separate:

- Is corporal punishment appropriate?
- If so, does it have a place in the family home?
- If it does, where are the limits, and does this exceed them?
- Is it appropriate for someone who has so acted to sit publicly in judgment of others? In similar cases? When elected?

My answer to each of these questions is a resounding "no".

bogusman said...

No doubt there are complexities to this case that have not been exposed in a seven minute video and a couple of written statements. BUT the thing that stands out to me is that this man still has custody of another child. At the very least he should be under some form of scrutiny to protect that child.

Hamish said...

@JustGerri "(and woman since she didn't try to stop it she took the belt off him then waded in herself)"

To me it seems likely that her mother was trying as best she could to limit the damage. She tried to make her daughter assume the position because she knew that the father would beat her all the more until she did. She tried to administer the beating herself in order to draw a line under it after a single stroke. She had to be aggressive in order to make that credible. Turn the volume up and listen to her entreat the father offscreen just before he comes back in: "No, that is enough. Keep calm."

Adam Highway said...

The fact that the judiciary has no "teeth" and that judges are ELECTED is truly staggering! In a state where "spare the rod ... " is most likely the standard belief, I doubt he'll have too much trouble getting returned the the bench. Which is, quite frankly, disgusting.

I know in this country there are occasional get-arounds for statutory limitations, I don't know if there are in Texas, but surely it would be worth someone investigating?

Adzcliff said...

If his daughter really does have the personality flaws he describes, I should say he/she got off lightly given the clearly abusive upbringing she experienced...

Pigasus said...

I see your thug with a belt and raise you Michael Pearl, author of To Train Up a Child. TTUAC is bible-based manual on beating children. There have been two child fatalities at the hands of Mr. Pearl's adherents this year.

We've got some things in our society we need to fix and children will suffer while we get around to fixing them.

Maria Wolters said...

This is a nice piece from the Child Psychology blog that provides some context for the Texas judge's actions. Granted, this looks at the prevalence of spanking of three-year-olds in the US, but the conclusions are striking - in particular the link between spanking and hitting one's partner.

The post also suggests ways of preventing spanking and provides a good argument against "I was spanked and I turned out OK" anecdotes.

Spanking in the US

If you want some insight into how parents justify spanking, read this (Chapter 12 summary) and weep. It's quite possible that the father subscribed to a similar parenting philosophy.