A Washington State jurist has repeatedly faced scrutiny for delivering expletive-laced tongue-lashings to those facing judgment in his courtroom. Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Joe Wilson called one defendant an “animal” and another man “just a criminal,” and accused a woman of trying to “blow smoke up my robe.” He dropped F-bombs and peppered his lectures with other curses. Now the Everett Daily Herald reports that the Commission on Judicial Conduct—which admonished Wilson in 2018—has censured Wilson. And he is apologizing, noting that he had struggled in the past with addiction, like many of those who appear before him.
“As someone who has been in their shoes, I know that soft speech and politeness will not always crack the shell of denial and deflection that addicts use to protect themselves from reality,” he told the Herald. “At times I was overly harsh, and I realize that my bluntness did not always serve the goals I was pursuing.”