Friday, August 11, 2006

(Attack on Black Women, Part II) Lack of A Policy Focus on Domestic Violence ...

This is pretty messed up. The Washington Times reports:

A misconduct hearing has been canceled for a Prince George's County judge because he retired this month. District Judge Richard A. Palumbo was accused of violating judicial standards in several cases -- including his handling of a hearing in September for Yvette Cade, in which he rescinded a protective order against her estranged husband. About a month later, the husband set Mrs. Cade on fire. She survived but suffered severe burns.

We understand that petitions are circulating in Maryland in Support of Yvette Cade & to Ask the Judicial Disabilities Commission to Try the Judge Palumbo Case, & to Increase Awareness of (a) Domestic Abuse and Domestic Violence (b) Violence Against Women – (c) the Indirect Consequences of These Events on Family Members, Friends, Neighbors, etc. & to Ask for Legislation & Funding (1) to provide mandatory annual training for Judges (2) Fast Track Re-Consideration and (3) establish a Court Watch Program.

Yet, the purpose of the petition was an effort to preempt the scenario above. Not certain what will happen next. In the meantime, for more information, we suggest contacting Julia Johnson at or writing to P.O. Box 6634, Annapolis, Maryland, 21401.

There may be an opporopportunity to shed greater light on this growing problem, yet you may not think it is that big given the silence about it, especially during the elections. Media reaction has been tame at best, treating it as an isolated incident. There is no real serious discussion about the scope of not only domestic violence, but the ability of batterers in fooling the legal system or manipulating it. wrote a rather steamy editorial about this some time back.

This is an extremely important topic - PG County is not the only jurisdiction faced with this dilemma, it's a national epidemic. And, it's not just judges - it's lawyers, as well, who continue to offer batterers an effective way to manipulate the system. There is a need for better oversight. But, PG County is a disturbing case given the demographics of African Americans in that location. A predominantly White justice system seems unsympathetic to Black women being abused and the damage inflicted on children. White women are dealing with it too, but the significance of the problem is disproportionately pronounced in the African American community.