A Dallas judge recently took heat for admitting he set up a trust to reward his kids financially if they marry a white, heterosexual, Christian person, and now a Jewish inmate says he deserves a new trial because the judge is an anti-Semite.
A Jewish man sentenced to death for the murder of a police officer contends he deserves a new trial because the Texas judge who sentenced him used anti-Semitic and racist language outside of court. Inmate, Randy Halprin, was sentenced to death for the murder of a police officer. Now he’s requesting a new trial, saying the judge used anti-Semitic and racist language when he was outside of the courtroom. Halprin claims former Judge Vickers “Vic” Cunningham, a Republican, regularly used the N-word and complained about “the [expletive] Jews.” Because of this, “the judge had a duty to recuse himself, and his failure to do so was a violation of the Constitution’s due process requirement for a fair trial,” according to Halprin’s May 17 habeas petition.
“A judge’s religious and racial prejudices are uniquely offensive to the Constitution and the legitimacy of the criminal justice system,” Halprin’s attorney’s wrote. “Given his lifelong views, Judge Cunningham must have been aware that he was required to recuse himself given his bias.”
The judge recently took heat for admitting he set up a trust to reward his kids financially if they marry a white, heterosexual, Christian person, and this caused him to lose a nomination for Dallas County Commissioner.
“Unfortunately, we did not prevail,” Cunningham said. “I am acutely aware of my own failings and will counsel with my God, my family, and my friends what path I shall take moving forward.”
Cunningham, 56, denied the racist allegations, however, stating, “The fabrications contained in the writ are more of the same lies from my estranged brother and his friends.” His brother, Bill, is married to a black man, and Cunningham said he has not been in contact with him since his father’s funeral.
Cunningham served as a criminal court judge for ten years, and Bill said he was a “longtime bigot who regularly used the N-word and the term ‘boy’ to insult black people behind their backs.” Halprin’s attorneys claim in the petition that Cunningham “harbored deep-seated animus towards and prejudices about non-white, non-Christian people. He expressed these views frequently in private and they informed his thinking about his public service in the law.”
The petition cites Cunningham even called his brother, Bill, ‘[N-word] Bill,’ to express his disapproval, and often used offensive language to describe blacks and Hispanics. He referred to ‘[expletive] Jews’ and used a derogatory word to refer to Jewish people.” It also indicates, he “wanted to save Dallas from minorities” by running for Commission.
Amanda Tackett, who worked for Cunningham’s 2006 campaign for district attorney, confirmed “Cunningham repeatedly used racial slurs.” She added, he told her “he wanted to return the county to a place where people didn’t have to worry about Jews and other minorities.”
Halprin was part of the Texas Seven who escaped from prison in December 2000. The group robbed a sporting goods store, and Halprin says he never pulled the trigger when the officer was killed. He was still found criminally responsible under Texas’ law of parties. Halprin originally went to prison for beating a 16-month-old child, breaking his arms and legs and fracturing his skull.
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