A man convicted of trafficking cocaine will be resentenced after a federal judge made a slew of inflammatory comments about his Mexican heritage, including tangential references to Iranian terrorists, Hugo Chavez and Adolf Hitler's dog.
Jose Figueroa was convicted of running a multimillion-dollar cocaine operation in Wisconsin. U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa sentenced him to almost 20 years, the low end of the guidelines range.
Figueroa appealed, saying he was discriminated against on the basis of his national origin. He challenged both the pre-sentencing remarks and a search of his home, which led to the discovery of $50,000 cash and large quantities of cocaine.
The 7th Circuit rejected Figueroa's nonconsensual search claim based on his own courtroom testimony, but found Judge Randa's comments to be out of line and ordered resentencing.
Noting Figueroa's Mexican descent, Randa had made a number of comments about Mexico's contribution to drug and immigration issues in the United States, angrily referring to Figueroa and his family as "you people" several times.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Lou Dobbs' Judicial Alter-ego
This has a simply fantastic opening sentence, but the "you people" part is my favorite. The judge sounds not entirely unlike my grandmother when talking about the whole of humanity under the age of 60.