According to a court order issued Thursday, a Pennsylvania judge charged with making racist remarks about a juror has been disqualified from hearing any cases.
Judge Mark Tranquilli was terminated on several occasions following the acquittal of a drug suspect on 24 January after being accused of referring to a black female juror as ‘ Aunt Jemima ‘ in remarks he made in his chambers.
Allegheny County Common Pleas Court Judge Mark Tranquilli was “temporarily reassigned to perform administrative duties only, effective immediately,” according to an order issued Thursday by Judge Kim Berkeley Clark, president of that court.
“During that assignment, Judge Tranquilli shall not preside over any cases,” Clark ordered.
A defendant had just been convicted on the charge of drug possession with intent to deliver after being accused of simple possession before.
Tranquilli called defense lawyer Joe Otte and assistant district attorney Ted Dutkowski to his chambers, where he accused the prosecutor of not doing “an adequate job screening for potential jurors” and allowing a black woman juror to join the panel he referred to as “Aunt Jemima,” according to a complaint filed with the Pennsylvania Judicial Conduct Board.
“The judge then said that by having ‘ Aunt Jemima ‘ on to the jury, Ted had made a terrible decision,” according to the lawsuit Otte lodged. “The juror … was a young black woman who throughout the court trial had worn a hair cover.”
According to the compliant before “the conversation returned to ‘ Aunt Jemima ‘ as he referred to her again,” and complained of other jurors.
Otte’s compliant said that “Judge Tranquilli claimed he knew that her ‘ baby daddy ‘ was likely selling heroin and that her alleged bias in favor of the heroin dealers had caused or contributed to the non-culpable decision,”.
Otte and a spokeswoman for the Office of the Allegheny County District Attorney both refused on Friday to comment on the matter. Tranquilli did not return immediate messages on Friday seeking his opinion.
The etymological roots of Aunt Jemima have connections with racism and it originated from a song ‘ Old Aunt Jemima ‘ from the vaudeville era.
The character was based on mammie a black woman who served the white families nurse their children.These days when racism and slavery has ended it is commonly associated with pancake and syrup blend.
President Lori McMaster, of the Allegheny County Bar Association, gave a strong remark against this act and said her organization stands behind any attempts to “eliminate implicit and explicit racial bias in our legal system.”
McMaster said that “ACBA is calling for a full investigation of Judge Tranquilli’s alleged communications by the Pennsylvania Judicial Conduct Board to ensure that this matter received timely consideration and a just resolution,”.
Black ploitical empowerment project appreciated Dutkowski for writing a complain against this judge and said that Tranquilli already has a history of being a racist and added that ‘ We also agree that Judge Tranquilli earned a reputation for being “tough on the crime and the accused”.
They seriously don’t know if his ‘ resilience ‘ was in fact a series of racially-based rulings that might have resulted in some African Americans being sentenced inappropriately and unfairly and possibly negatively affecting their lives, perhaps for a number of years in some cases! ‘
“Alligator Leaps Out Of The Water Trying To Bite Woman On Zipline”