Black judge rejects deal for "white boy"

Western Pennsylvania judge says a black defendant would not have received the same leniency


Associated Press
October 6, 2010 6:40PM (UTC)

A black judge from western Pennsylvania rejected a plea agreement for a man accused of fighting with police during a traffic stop, saying it was "a ridiculous plea that only goes to white boys."

Allegheny County Judge Joseph Williams said on Tuesday that a black defendant in that situation would not have been treated as leniently.

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Williams recused himself after making the comments, and a white judge accepted the plea agreement for 24-year-old Jeffery McGowan, who had faced charges including aggravated assault.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review says Williams made the comments after a prosecutor proposed three months of probation for a white man with no criminal record who agreed to plead guilty to disorderly conduct.

Williams' secretary on Wednesday told The Associated Press the judge does not give interviews.

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Information from: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, http://pghtrib.com


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