Marine Park Bulldog

January 3, 2003

“Junk Justice”

By George Rajarian

Queens Supreme Court Justice, Laura Blackburne, sent an alleged cop shooter home to his mommy when she dismissed charges against him.

The suspect, William Hodges, walked out of the courthouse a free man while the police officer he shot with the officers own service revolver, remains disabled with bullet fragments lodged in his hip.

The controversial Judge dismissed charges against Hodges, allegedly as a favor to his mother because she and the mother are members of the same NAACP’s Southeast Queens chapter.

Judge Blackburne denies the charge of favoritism, and said she released the defendant because his rights to a speedy trial were denied. However, Justice Blackburne neglected to mention the fact that the defendant’s attorney, Arthur Friedmann, kept postponing the hearings because of one phony reason after another. It’s common practice that goes on nearly every day in our judicial system. The purpose is to have potential witnesses against a client become so disgusted with the constant postponements, they finally give up and fail to come back, thereby causing the case to be dismissed for failure to prosecute.

Judge Blackburne, who headed the NYC Housing Authority was forced to resign because of alleged abusive spending practices. It’s claimed she shelled out tens of thousands of dollars for trips – including one to South Africa – and for furniture including $3,100 to purchase a pink couch for her office.

Not only should this woman be investigated for incompetence and possibly favoritism, but also for how she was able to garner herself a judgeship so soon after leaving the top job in the housing authority under a mushroom cloud.

No citizen should have to be at the mercy of such an individual. Least of all our police officers whose job is tough enough without having to contend with her brand of “Junk Justice.”