A Baltimore County Judge recently volunteered to conduct a marriage ceremony for a woman and her abuser in his courtroom, so that the man’s charges could be dropped. The idea was that once the couple was married, the woman would be able to invoke her spousal privilege so she wouldn’t have to testify against her boyfriend, despite the fact that he had smashed her face in and threatened to kill her.
The judge not only volunteered to officiate the marriage, he also waived the 48 hour waiting period required for marriage licenses. He married the couple that day, and subsequently acquitted the groom of the assault charges.
Apparently not satisfied with merely facilitating what was likely a coerced “I do,” the judge went even further, adding insult to injury. His parting words to the couple were, “Mr. Wood, I found you not guilty, so I can’t sentence you in any crimes, but earlier today, I sentenced you to life, married to her.”
Judge Darrell Russell Jr. has been indefinitely reassigned and is no longer allowed to preside over domestic violence cases.