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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.

“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).

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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.

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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CNN’s Bakari Sellers schools Rick Santorum over claim Trump is not part of the ‘extreme hard right’

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During a panel discussion on CNN's State of the Union, contributor Bakari Sellers set fellow panelist Rick Santorum straight after he tried to claim that Donald Trump doesn't take far-right positions.

Following a discussion on Sen. Bernie Sanders' Nevada caucus win, Santorum tried to note the major differences between Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Responding to conservative commentator Linda Chavez who called both Sanders and Trump "two angry people," Santorum remarked, "I wanted to take issue with what Linda said: two angry folks representing the extremes, and I would agree with that, with Bernie Sanders, and he is representing, no question, the extreme of the Democratic Party and he says that he is a socialist and he is angry, I agree."

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GOP lawmakers melt down after Maryland AP history class teacher uses illustration to compare Trump to Nazis

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According to a report from the Washington Times, Maryland Republicans are up in arms after an AP history teacher at a local high school used a slide to illustrate similarities between Donald Trump's policies and those of the Nazis.

The report states, "A slide used in an Advanced Placement history class at Loch Raven High School in Towson shows a picture of Trump above pictures of a Nazi swastika and a flag of the Soviet Union. Two captions read 'wants to round up a group of people and build a giant wall' and 'oh, THAT is why it sounds so familiar!'"

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Stop praising anti-Trump evangelicals: Their embrace of authoritarianism is a big part of the problem

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At this critical moment for American democracy our media landscape is doing a poor job in its coverage of conservative white evangelicals. Coverage of this relatively large segment of the population is characterized by, on the one hand, effusive praise for the slightest milquetoast criticism of Donald Trump, and on the other, by a periodic parade of nearly interchangeable unfounded predictions about how evangelical youth are going to change America’s most radically right-wing demographic for the better—any day now. In the words of the great sage Bullwinkle J. Moose, “This time for sure!”

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