Today, there’s news in the burgeoning Judge TV market. Former Massachusetts Superior Court judge Maria Lopez has signed on with Sony Pictures Television to host her own court show.
For those unfamiliar with Judge Lopez, here’s a little background. She had a long and distinguished record on the bench, distinguished by an unfailing sympathy for the defendants lucky enough to stand before her. Her hostility for prosecutors was legendary, being caught on tape one time loudly ordering a protesting prosecutor to “shut up and sit down.”
Her most famous case, the one that led to such an uproar that she eventually had to resign, was a sexual assault case. A pre-operative transsexual kidnapped an 11-year-old boy and ordered him to perform oral sex on him. When the boy refused, he threatened the boy with a screwdriver pressed to his throat. Judge Lopez felt the would-be molester’s pain and persecution, and fears of assault in prison, and sentenced Charles “Ebony” Horton to probation and a year of house arrest, with unrestricted and unmonitored time off for school, church, counseling, and medical appointments. It was when the prosecutor, who had asked for 10 to 12 years, protested, that Judge Lopez issued her famous “shut up and sit down” order.
Judge Lopez is married to another pillar of the community. Her husband is the publisher of the Boston Phoenix, the free weekly tabloid that makes most of its income from ads in its “adult” section — with listings for escorts, strippers, massages, “adult personals,” phone sex, “TV/TS,” “Fantasy/Fetish,” and other such things.
(No, I don’t have a subscription.)
Maybe it’s time for a change in the standard courtroom shows. Maybe America is ready for a criminal-coddling, bleeding-heart, prosecution-hating judge to take her bench to the airwaves.
But if we’re lucky, she’ll crash and burn and sink into the oblivion she has so richly earned.
Kevin adds: Just a guess, but I’m betting her studio publicity photo might have something to do with why she’s getting a TV gig instead of collecting a retirement check…