330. Dead professor driving

Ive long thought that one of the reasons judges are so concerned about traffic stops is the potential of a traffic stop to wreck a judges career.  Just look at Ohios Justice Resnick (see post 33), Arkansass Judge Davis (see post 36) and New Mexicos own Judge Brennan.  (See post 38.)

But pretending that the Constitution prohibits police officers from pulling over distinguished-looking middle-aged men who like to dress up in black dresses is one thing (me, I prefer these Carnaby Street designs).  Pretending your car was driven by a dead person is something else.   From the Australian Associated Press:

Former Federal Court judge Marcus Einfeld will face a jury and a possible jail term after being committed to stand trial on perjury and traffic offences.

The 69-year-old faces a maximum 14 years in prison for allegedly swearing false statements that other people were driving his car when it was caught committing traffic offences between 1999 and 2006. …

He is accused of swearing, both via statement and on oath in court, that other people, including a friend he knew to be dead, and a seemingly fictitious person, were driving his car when it was caught speeding and running a red light. …

His barrister, Ian Barker QC, said it was "preposterous" to suggest that signing false statements to avoid traffic fines amounted to an attempt to pervert the course of justice.

He also stressed the issue of timing, saying there was simply not enough proof that Einfeld could have left Sydneys Freshwater beach, where he lunched on January 8, 2006, and made it to the Mosman speed camera where his car was photographed at 4.01pm.

The January speeding fine, which Einfeld claimed was incurred by a friend, Professor Teresa Brennan, sparked a high-profile investigation into Einfelds driving history after it was revealed Brennan had died in 2003.

It was the second time Einfeld had claimed Brennan was driving his car, having previously blamed her for a speeding offence committed the day after her death.

Australias Federal Court is the federal governments intermediate appellate court – would it have killed them to put the word "appeals" in the name? – so Judge Enfield was pretty high up the hierarchy when he started letting the ghosts get behind the wheel.  He was, indeed, the distinguished-looking gentleman whose stern-yet-wise-yet-compassionate-yet-arrogant-yet-learned-yet-ever-so-slightly-crackers visage you saw if you followed the link in the second paragraph.

I bet if he had to do it all over again, the judge would just declare red-light cameras unconstitutional ahead of time.

Read more detail on Legal News Directory – Judiciary

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