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Abstract

This Article examines the constitutional and practical issues surrounding the prosecutions of judges for ethical violations. The first part of this Article will focus on the Garson prosecution as an example of unwarranted prosecution of judges for violation of ethical codes. The second part examines cases elsewhere in the United States in which judges and other public officials have been prosecuted for violations of ethical codes. Finally, the third part discusses the threats to judicial independence that exist even under the current American legal Framework, as well as the growing tendency to blur the line between civil and criminal liability. The Article concludes that these factors, in combination with the fact that the code of judicial ethics was never intended to be a basis for criminal liability, militate against the use of such codes to define offenses under New York law.

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