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Charlotte Amalie
Friday, February 3, 2023
HomeNewsArchivesMr. King's Assertions about Judge Kendall are Disturbing

Mr. King's Assertions about Judge Kendall are Disturbing

Dear Source:
As a retired lawyer from the states, hence, not subject to the bar association's power to discipline lawyers who criticize judges in the Virgin Islands, I must comment on some of Mr. King's statements about Judge Kendall. I also want the readers to know that I have neither discussed nor heard any comments from lawyers or other judges for or against Kendall.
Mr. King is quoted in The Source as saying, "Judge Kendall has been unfairly tried by the media and the victims' advocacy groups, and hung out to dry by people who don't know anything about the law," he said. "Not one member of the legal community in the territory has spoken out, not one judicial official, and the reason for that is that Kendall is right." If no member of the legal or judicial community has spoken out against Judge Kendall, it may have nothing to do with whether Kendall is right or wrong. Instead, it may have everything to do with a desire to let the legal procedure in the investigation of Kendall's action take its course without prejudice from members of the legal and judicial community. It may have a lot to do with the ethical standards set for lawyers, which deter them from publicly criticizing judges. It may have a lot to do with members of the legal and judicial community being relieved that Judge Kendall will eventually have to answer for his actions. Whatever reasons account for the silence, it does not mean that he is right.
The following quote was also in the article: "The prosecution also had a role in how the Castillo case was handled, King said. "Something else: The prosecutors have a vast amount of power and can move for detention, and if they do so immediately, the judge has no choice but to hold the person until such time as a hearing, and in this case, the prosecution never moved for detention." The implication here is that Judge Kendall was not empowered to detain Castillo unless the prosecutor moved for detention. Is that true, or could Kendall have detained Castillo without such a motion?
There may be much we don't know, but I expect that the procedures currently in place will give Kendall his due process and the public its day in court for answers to very deserving questions, answers which affect the entire community. It takes courage on the part of the public to formally challenge the decisions of judges. I find it difficult to see Kendall as a victim–yet.
Dena Langdon
St. Thomas

Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.

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