June 29th, 2010, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government (ALG) President Bill Wilson today announced that his organization would be running a 60-second commercial in Nevada urging Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to reject the nomination of Judge Robert Chatigny to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.
“Robert Chatigny is a man who thought that a confessed rapist, serial killer of eight young women aged 14 to 25, Michael Ross, ‘never should have been convicted, and yet, Harry Reid is pushing him to be confirmed,” Wilson said.
Wilson said the ad was to alert Nevadans of Chatigny’s controversial actions defending convicted rapist and serial murderer, Michael Ross, and to urge them to contact Reid to help defeat the nomination.
Chatigny’s contentious remarks were made at a last-minute hearing in 2005 he had convened wherein he granted a stay of execution for Ross. In that hearing, Chatigny chastised Ross’ attorney, T.R. Paulding, and threatened to have his law license pulled for not more vigorously pursuing Ross’ defense.
Although the hearing was supposed to be examining Ross’ competence to waive his right to appeal, Chatigny opined, “looking at the record in a light most favorable to Mr. Ross, he never should have been convicted. Or if convicted, he never should have been sentenced to death because his sexual sadism, which was found by every single person who looked at him, is clearly a mitigating factor.”
In a letter to the U.S. Senate, Wilson wrote, “Ross had confessed to all eight rape-murders. Of course he should have been convicted. There was no question of his malice and cruelty, either, and yet for Chatigny, this was a mitigating factor that should have blocked the death penalty sentence. That is outrageous enough.”
Wilson’s letter continued, “But if there was any doubt as to Chatigny’s bias and personal interest in this case, the hearing Chatigny was presiding over had nothing to do with sentencing. It had to do with forcing Ross’ attorney to pursue a claim that Ross was not competent to waive his right to appeal the sentence.”
The letter closed, “Chatigny clearly wanted to keep Ross in the system. His bias exhibited in this case calls into question his temperament and impartiality as a judge, and should disqualify him. This nomination should be withdrawn.”
Wilson also cited that Chatigny’s “long history of acting sympathetically toward sex offenders.” As reported by the Washington Times, “[i]n 12 child-pornography cases, Judge Chatigny imposed a sentence either at or more lenient than the recommended minimum – with most downward departures involving sentences less than half as long.”
“In 2000, Chatigny even overturned Connecticut’s sex offender registry law,” Wilson noted.
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted to report Judge Chatigny to floor on June 10th for a full Senate vote.
Wilson concluded, “As the Senate’s leader, Harry Reid has the power to put the brakes on the Chatigny nomination. Chatigny is nothing more than an apologist for sex offenders. It’s his claim to fame, and is why he is being promoted. Chatigny’s conduct is so deeply disturbing to the American people that Reid has an obligation to defeat this offensive nomination.”
ALG Ad Urging Reid to Oppose Chatigny, June 29th, 2010.
ALG Letter to U.S. Senate Against Judge Chatigny, June 21st, 2010.
“Editorial: Democrat Senate to Promote Rapist, Serial Killer Apologist to 2nd Circuit Court,” ALG News, June 21st, 2010.
ALG Nominee Alert, Robert Chatigny, March 2010.