A Nashville general sessions judge has been publicly reprimanded because of contact she had with the district attorney’s office about how she would run her court.
Judge Allegra Walker sent emails to prosecutors in June outlining what types of plea agreements she would accept in domestic violence court. The Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and Metro Public Defender Dawn Deaner complained, saying the judge’s action showed she was biased in favor of prosecutors.
The Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct, which disciplines and investigates complaints against judges, began an inquiry that led to the letter of reprimand.
“I appreciate the serious and careful consideration that the Board of Judicial Conduct gave to this difficult matter,” Deaner said in a statement. “I also commend Judge Walker for acknowledging her actions, and have no doubt that we can continue to work together successfully going forward.”
The reprimand letter also says there was a meeting Walker had with prosecutors, but not defense lawyers or the public defender, to discuss rules of her domestic violence court and what types of plea agreements she would accept.
That was followed up by two emails, on June 5 and 8, to lawyers in the Nashville District Attorney General’s Office that reiterated those rules, according to the reprimand. One email said that (continue reading at Tennessean)