The way that Judge Rosemarie Aquilina channeled the voices of Larry Nassar’s victims, expressing her own personal condemnation of him, went against the laws that trials should be held under, argues Andrew Cohen of New Republic. She tore up a letter he had written to the court. She treated him with anger and championed his victims’ causes, saying, “I just signed your death warrant” while sentencing him. Under US law, at all times, the conduct and manner of a judge should promote public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary. Support for Nasser’s victims is good, but not from the judge claiming to enact justice.
Criticism of the way Judge Aquilina held the trial of Nassar is misplaced; she acted well within her rights and ensured that justice was delivered in the best possible way, asserts Areva Martin of Time. She rightly allowed 150 of his victims to testify, which isn’t group therapy, as some have claimed, but an effort to ensure that the truth is presented in full detail. Aquilina’s use of strong language towards Nassar was not out of place either, given his particularly horrible crimes. Judges are allowed to express themselves to an extent; her words shouldn’t be taken literally. The trial was held correctly and ensured that Nassar and his victims got the justice they deserved.