This was originally published on Jan. 26.
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A judge’s decision to allow a criminal suspect out of custody for a few hours has evoked social media criticism.
Hennepin County Judge Regina Chu signed off on a three-hour furlough earlier this month for Shevirio Childs-Young, 18, to attend a funeral. He’s facing a felony weapons charge, and police say he has a “lengthy juvenile delinquency history involving assault and weapons offenses.”
Childs-Young never returned from the furlough. He was captured Tuesday, more than three weeks later. On Thursday, he was charged with fleeing police, property damage and endangering a child. Judge Jeannice Reding said she has “serious concerns” about public safety and about whether or not Childs-Young would show up for future court dates. She ordered that he be held without bail for a case from last August, of which he had already pleaded guilty. For Thursday’s charges, and a weapons charge from last November, Judge Reding set bail at $100,000 for each.
Many people on social media have made it clear they’re not happy with Judge Chu’s furlough decision.
“If you’re looking at where is the most typical venue for a complaint about a judicial decision, it’s the appeal process,” said Minnesota Senior Judge Kevin Burke, a former Hennepin County chief judge.
The public can also submit complaints to the Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards. According to its website, “In most cases, the Board cannot take action on complaints about a judge’s rulings or exercise of discretion.”
The Board reviews judge misconduct such as improper behavior, bias, or conflicts of interest.
“If there are severe ethical problems that a judge has, it rises to public recognition and they tend to get weeded out,” Burke said.
The Board has given 29 public reprimands of judges since 1996. Two dozen have faced disciplinary action from the Minnesota Supreme Court since 1972. Four of them have been fired. Still, Burke believes there should be more transparency.
“There are services that would allow you to look up all the cases I’ve decided,” he said. “It’s not, frankly, particularly easy. We could become more sophisticated in allowing the public to see the decisions we make.”
Judges are either elected or appointed by the governor.