The Norman Transcript

Local news

November 14, 2012

Meeting will address judicial independence

NORMAN — Oliver Diaz, former Mississippi Supreme Court Justice will be the keynote speaker at the Oklahoma Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Association annual meeting 2 p.m. Thursday at the Cox Center in Oklahoma City in Ballroom D.

The meeting is open to the public and will cover topics including judicial independence and integrity under attack.

The preamble to Oklahoma’s Code of Judicial Conduct states that “(a)n independent, fair and impartial judiciary is indispensable to our system of justice. The United States legal system is based upon the principle that an independent, impartial and competent judiciary, composed of men and women of integrity, will interpret and apply the law that governs our society.”

A press release sent by the Oklahoma Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Association states that the above passage appears to communicate a prosaic and widely held American belief that judges, as independent evaluators of the law, should be empowered to perform their constitutional function free from the influence of interested parties.

The release raised the following question: Where is the line between appropriate judicial criticism and inappropriate interference with a judicial officer’s performance of his or her constitutional duty.

Diaz will examine this issue. His experience as a Mississippi Supreme Court Justice was featured in the HBO documentary film “Hot Coffee” and provided the inspiration for John Grisham’s novel “The Appeal.”

Diaz served in the Mississippi House of Representatives for eight years before being elected to the Mississippi Court of Appeals in November 1994. In March 2000, he was appointed to the Supreme Court of Mississippi with only a few months remaining in the term to which he was appointed. In November 2000, he was elected to the Mississippi Supreme Court and began serving an eight-year term in January 2001.

In 2003, Diaz was federally indicted for mail fraud and bribery. He was acquitted of all charges in 2005.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local news
  • N7 Sooners come together to serve Native American youth

    Whitney Wofford has faced some tough competition as a part of the Oklahoma tennis team. However, on Wednesday, Wofford may have taken on her biggest and most rewarding competition yet at the Sooners For N7 event at the Oklahoma football ...

    April 10, 2014 3 Photos

  • Norman High Speech and Debate Team wins state championship

    Briar White’s heart pounded in his chest as he clasped the hands of several classmates and Booker T. Washington High School was announced as the second-place finisher. White said he was elated to hear second place announced because he ...

    April 16, 2014

  • General fund continues to decline as expenses exceed anticipated revenues

    Norman’s expenses will again outstrip projected revenue in the current budget before the city council. The budget for the fiscal year that starts in July and ends June 30, 2015, projects $210,982,020 in total revenues and $213,436,778 in ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Norman students accepted to arts institute

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Forty-nine Norman high school students have been accepted to the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute at Quartz Mountain, an arts academy hosted June 14-29 in southwestern Oklahoma. The Norman students were among 270 artists ...

    April 16, 2014

  • OU History of Science Department receives Sloan Foundation Grant

    The University of Oklahoma History of Science Department has received a $350,000 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in support of a project to build an innovative tool for collaborative research centered on the 100-year-old Isis ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Norman High, North named top schools in nation

    Norman High and Norman North have once again been identified as two of the most rigorous high schools in the state and nation. The Washington Post’s 2014 Most Challenging High Schools list, the first of annual national high school ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Oklahoma Water Survey data web portal to be demonstrated next week

    A new tool is available from the Oklahoma Water Survey, at the University of Oklahoma, for organizations in the state that collect and use water data. Oklahoma Water Survey Director Robert Puls will demonstrate Phase I of a new water data ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Norman teachers excited about professional development

    Norman Public Schools’ teachers are focused on students and want to take advantage of professional development, Beth Spears, director of Staff Development and Student Achievement, said was the overall response teachers had to a recent ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Social justice dialogue part of University of Oklahoma program

    The University of Oklahoma kicked off Justice Week with a public forum Monday titled “Luis Rodriguez: No en Vano.” Critically acclaimed author, Esmeralda Santiago discussed the “Transformative Power of Art,” while joining five panelists ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Storm scavengers now could face felony charges

    OKLAHOMA CITY— It wasn’t long after a devastating tornado hit Moore last year that scavengers were circling the wreckage. Already reeling, Moore residents had a new concern — fending off looters....

    April 15, 2014

Video
Facebook