Frustrated with judges who free repeat offenders who have gone on to rape and kill again, Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, who is running for governor, vowed to set up an independent review board that could boot bad justices off the bench, reports the Boston Herald. Citing several high-profile cases involving questionable sentences, Healey wants a “thumbs up, thumbs down” panel to review all the state's judges every seven years. Her proposal, which would require majority support from the state legislature and the approval of voters, would create a clear-cut removal process for judges for the first time in state history.
“Massachusetts is nearly isolated in having lifetime tenure for their judges,” Healsy said. “I think that results in a judicial culture that is unaccountable.” The Republican lieutenant governor's plan comes after of her selection of former state police Col. Reed V. Hillman as her running mate. Her plan drew fire from judges. “It infringes on the separation of powers,” said retired state Judge Rudolph Kass. “It disregards precisely what the framers of the Constitution founded, which is to allow judges to be free and independent, which includes not looking over your shoulder every time you act.” Last week, retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor lashed out at GOP leaders for attacking liberal judges and trying to “strong-arm the judiciary.”