► Judge Benjamin Burgess of Wichita, KS; sleeping on the bench Print E-mail
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Judge Benjamin Burgess of Wichita, KS; sleeping on the bench


The state of Kansas provided Benjamin Burgess with a law license in 1972 after he graduated from Washburn University Law School.


In one matter, Benny presided over a case involving Daquantrius Johnson who was convicted of criminal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, aggravated assault and criminal discharge of a firearm.


During the second day of the criminal trial, a juror went up to the bailiff and told her that Benny had been sleeping during the trial. The juror went on to question as to whether Mr. Johnson’s right to a fair trial had been infringed upon by the sleeping judge.


After his conviction, Mr. Johnson filed an appeal with the Kansas Court of Appeals. The basis for the appeal was the fact that Benny fell asleep during the trial.


As expected, the Court of Appeals overturned Mr. Johnson’s conviction. In its opinion, the Court stated in part:

  • “This error affected the framework of the entire trial. Our citizens expect a fully awake trial judge presiding over a criminal trial.”
  • “How can a sleeping judge supervise anything other than his or her dreams? Is the trial really ‘in the presence’ of a sleeping judge?”

As a direct consequence of Benny’s sleeping on the job, the Kansas taxpayers will now be forced to pay for another trial of Mr. Johnson.


Of course, it goes without saying that Benny doesn’t give a daman how much his laziness costs the taxpayers. Furthermore, he isn’t concerned that the Kansas Commission on Judicial Qualifications will file an ethics complaint against him.


Lastly, the taxpayers were required to pay Benny $77 an hour while he was sleeping on the job. Lazy Benny hoses Kansans for an undeserved salary of $153,982. 


As we speak (March 2017), Benny continues to sit as a Sedgewick County 18th Judicial District Court Judge (in Wichita, Kansas. 


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