Judges learn it's human to have feelings on bench

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Associated Press

Posted on February 21, 2013 at 12:34 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 21 at 12:37 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Florida judge's harsh reaction to a disrespectful teenaged defendant, captured on court video, is a reminder that judges don't shed their emotions when they don their black robes.

The recent episode quickly went viral. But for a few dozen new federal judges, it became a lesson in finding ways to acknowledge that they experience a range of feelings on the bench and channel them appropriately.

Vanderbilt University law professor Terry Maroney says judges will have emotions on the job, "no matter how many people tell you you won't, or aren't supposed to." Maroney studies emotion in judging and led a discussion with the judges in Washington.

Veteran federal judge Jeremy Fogel says more should be done to prepare new judges for the stresses of their job.

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