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Texas judge scolds jury for punishing rapist: I ‘did not believe the victim was raped at all’

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The Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct publicly reprimanded Dallas Judge Teresa Hawthorne for scolding jurors and intervening in a criminal case involving her nephew.

Three jurors from a rape case went on record to criticize Judge Hawthorne’s views on a rape conviction, The Dallas Morning News reported. Judge Hawthorne will remain on the bench despite the ruling.

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“Quite frankly, I am disturbed. I am disturbed by the way you came back with such a harsh verdict and sentence for this man’s life in such a short time. Did you even discuss the details of the case at all?” one juror testified the judge lectured them.

That juror also claimed Judge Hawthorne said, “I definitely would have wanted to hear from the defendant’s mother.”

The foreperson of the jury said Judge Hawthorne told jurors she “did not believe the victim was raped at all.”

A third juror said Judge Hawthorne asked, “how we could have a good conscience about our decision” and “could not believe that we found the defendant guilty.

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“The Commission concludes that Judge Hawthorne’s conduct, as described above, constituted willful and/or persistent violations of … the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct and constituted willful or persistent conduct that is clearly inconsistent with the proper performance of her duties,” the public reprimand concluded (PDF).

Dallas District Judge Jeanine Howard was similarly reprimanded after claiming in 2014 that a 14-year-old rape victim, “wasn’t the victim she claimed to be.”

Judge Hawthorne is seeking re-election to a third term as 203rd Judicial District in 2018.

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Raquel “Rocky” Jones, the Felony Chief Assistant District Attorney at the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office, has announced she will be challenging Judge Hawthorne in the 2018 Democratic Party primary.


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2020 Election

‘I don’t care’: Watch Kamala Harris shut down Chris Hayes for asking a dumb question about Trump

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Sen. Kamala Harris shut down MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes during a post-debate interview on Tuesday evening.

Hayes questioned Harris about her call for Twitter to follow their terms of service and kick President Donald Trump off of the platform.

"Do you think he puts people’s lives in danger when he targets them in tweets?" Hayes asked.

"Absolutely," Harris replied.

"Do you think he knows that?" Hayes asked.

"Does it matter?" Harris replied.

"The fact is he did it. The fact is that he is irresponsible, he is erratic," she explained. "He is like a 2-year-old with a machine gun."

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2020 Election

Democrats blast Trump and demand his impeachment at CNN debate

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Democratic White House hopefuls united in searing condemnation of Donald Trump during their fourth debate Tuesday, saying the president has broken the law, abused his power, and deserves to be impeached.

From the opening moments, most of the dozen candidates on stage launched fierce broadsides against Trump over the Ukrainian scandal at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.

"The impeachment must go forward," said Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is neck and neck with former vice president Joe Biden at the head of the 2020 nominations race.

"Impeachment is the way that we establish that this man will not be permitted to break the law over and over without consequences," she thundered.

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2020 Election

Here are 3 winners and 4 losers from the CNN/NYT Democratic presidential primary debate

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Twelve Democrats took to the stage Tuesday night for yet another debate in the party's 2020 president primary hosted by CNN and the New York Times.

After only ten candidates qualified for the previous debate, an additional two — Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and wealthy donor and former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer — made it to the stage this round for an even more crowded event.

The candidates discussed a range of important policy issues, but since the format was a debate, and they're all competing for the same nomination, it is ultimately most critical who won and who lost the night. Here are three winners and four losers — necessarily a subjective assessment, of course — from the debate:

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