Allegations against McRae sully state

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Mississippi has had its fair share of judicial scrutiny lately, and allegations about Supreme Court Justice Charles McRae have done nothing to help the situation.

Fellow justices have asked for an inquiry of McRae’s behavior, which they say includes threats of violence and intentionally delaying cases.

The complaint alleges McRae &045; who lost his bid for re-election last year and will be replaced in January &045; &uot;set about to deliberately and maliciously bring dishonor to the Supreme Court.&uot;

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If the allegations about McRae are true, they cross yet another black mark on Mississippi’s judicial reputation.

Already, Justice Oliver Diaz Jr. is on leave after a federal grand jury indicted him and four others on charges of fraud and bribery.

Meanwhile, the whole state &045; particularly Jefferson County &045; is still saddled with a reputation for &uot;jackpot justice,&uot; high-dollar jury verdicts that have scared away doctors and businesses.

If the complaint against McRae is true, it’s high time someone &045; namely, the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance &045; took him to task for his behavior.

It is difficult for colleagues &045; no matter how acrimonious the relationship &045; to &uot;tattle&uot; on a fellow judge whose behavior would by association make the rest of them look bad as well.

But it’s better to address the problems head on and put them behind us as a state than continue to condone them.