On behalf of Judge Angela Stokes
10/30/2013, 9:03 a.m.
This newspaper takes exception to the political and media treatment levied at Judge Angela Stokes. With a snarling horde of enemies, old and new, hungry to shred her judicial robes, we felt obliged to let Judge Stokes use our paper last week to speak for herself – but now it’s our turn.
Is Angela Stokes a perfect judge? No. Does she have her idiosyncrasies in the deliverance of her duties as a Cleveland Municipal Court judge? For sure she does. But let’s be clear – to allege that she is suffering from a mental illness is outrageous and rings of heavy-handed political demagoguery.
It’s one thing to have a problem with the lack of timeliness and management of her court docket and the disposing of cases in a timely fashion, but it’s an entirely different thing to suggest that because of it she be ordered to undergo a psychiatric exam.
We refuse to believe that some of those behind these actions are not imposing an “agenda” that may go back to before Judge Angela Stokes was even born.
Judges from time immemorial have been notorious for their temperament and eccentricity on the bench. But we have stated before that this 97 year-old newspaper has a long memory. A multitude of odd and quirky judges have come and gone, but what is happening to Judge Stokes is disgraceful.
Two years ago, in this paper, we stated that we are not so naïve to think that attacks on Angela Stokes isn’t an attempt to settle an old grudge held against the strength of Black politics in Cleveland led by the Stokes brothers more than 40 years ago.
Judge Stokes has maintained that her painstaking assessment to the often infinitesimal details of each and every case has nothing to do with docket efficiency. Stokes suggests that it has everything to do with making sure that the people who come before her, who are often times poor and underserved within the legal system, gets the necessary amount of time to achieve justice.
Let us not forget that Judge Angela Stokes is an “elected” judge.
Her approach is different and has not often ingratiated itself to many of the attorneys that have found themselves in her court. But to say that she is mentally ill is, well, crazy!