Law: Robin Hood Of the Bench

Some gothic politics in backwater Florida

In the Gulf County, Fla., courtroom of Judge David Taunton these past four years, the rule of law has been compassion for the poor. When an appliance company tried to repossess a washing machine from a black man with no job, a wooden leg and seven children, Judge Taunton reached into his pocket and paid the defendant's $97 overdue bill himself. Without being subpoenaed, he appeared as a character witness for a man convicted of drunken driving who was trying to get his license back so he could take his wife to the hospital for cancer...

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