|► Attorney Lawrence LaBelle of Saratoga Springs, NY; Judge Roy Bean Wannabee|
Attorney Lawrence LaBelle of Saratoga Springs, NY; Judge Roy Bean Wannabee
FYI: Judge Roy Bean was a saloon-keeper and Justice of the Peace in Val Verde County, Texas, who called himself “The Law West of the Pecos.” He was also affectionately referred to as the “hanging judge.”
The state of New York provided Lawrence J. LaBelle with a law license in 1953 after he graduated from St. Johns University Law School.
For approximately 28 years, Lawrence was a judge of the Saratoga Springs City Court.
During his tenure on the bench, the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct found Lawrence guilty of the following misconduct.
The primary misconduct involved Lawrence’s bail decisions involving approximately 50 defendants that appeared before him in non-felony cases. Each defendant had been committed to jail without bail at some point during the pendency of their criminal cases.
New York law required that in cases that are not felonies, that “the court must order recognizance or bail.” On numerous occasions, Lawrence illegally committed defendants to jail, prior to trial, without setting bail. He also violated the law by setting bail at the time of arrest without giving the defendants an opportunity to be heard.
The simple truth is that Lawrence repeatedly trampled over the constitution due process rights of numerous defendants. It would be absurd for any judge to claim he/she was ignorant of a defendant’s “due process” rights. Ignorance of the law is not a valid defense; however, it is in many instances a stepping stone to higher office.
It is painfully clear that Lawrence wasn’t fit to sit on the bench. Any judge who consistently violates a citizens “due process” rights has, in my opinion forever forfeited the right to sit in judgment of anyone.
As a consequence of his misconduct the enablers for Judicial Misfits sitting on the Judicial Commission punished Lawrence by gifting him with a complimentary censure.
As we speak (June 2012) Lawrence practices law LaBelle & LaBelle in Saratoga Springs, New York.