By FutureLaw Desk
In late July of 2016, a courtroom video showing an American judge’s shock over the treatment of a defendant who had been held in a Louisville Metro Corrections Jail in Kentucky went viral over the internet, triggering ripple currents of praise and support from all over the world.
In the video, the judge told the woman she wasn’t trying to embarrass her and said she is “very sorry,” before asking her staff to find something for her to cover up with.
“What the hell is going on?,” the judge asked a jail official. “This is outrageous. This cannot happen.”
The woman told the judge she has never had any other arrests other than the shoplifting incident. The judge rejected the 75-day sentence the woman was set to receive, calling it “ridiculous,” and gave her a $100 fine and credit for the time she served in jail.
Although this incident shockingly exposed the array if poor treatment of inmates in some U.S. prisons, the compassionate moment of judge Amber Wolf, a district judge of the Jefferson County of Louisville, Kentucky was widely acclaimed, and immediately got her name under the spotlight.
What is more interesting, Judge Wolf again hit the button of ‘internet stardom’ by allowing an inmate to meet his 1-month-old son for the first time.
“I saw her try to hold the baby up when he came out for his case to be called with his attorney, and I thought that he hadn’t seen that. And it occurred to me after we finished this case that he had not met his baby — who was 30 days old — and that he was not going to get an opportunity to meet his baby anytime in the near future.”
– Judge Wolf to news station
In Kentucky, all court proceedings are recorded, yet it’s rare for the general public to see the actual footage.
In reply of a question asked by the Marshall Project where she was asked whether these actions are sending a wrong message of softness on crime, the jufge responded, “If they are perceiving that, then they aren’t paying attention. I have seen comments from people who say I’m an activist liberal judge, which is not the case. I haven’t done anything to pursue or propel any political points. I just saw an opportunity to do the right thing.”
Judge Amber Wolf graduated from the University of Louisville in 2004 with a degree in political science. She then graduated in 2007 from the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at Louisville in 2007. She started her career in law by joining at the Kentucky Bar Association in 2007. She was first elected as a judge for the 30th District court of Louisville, Kentucky in 2014 for a term of five years until 2019, according to Ballotpedia. Before becoming a judge, Wolf was the assistant county attorney for Jefferson County; She also had a private practice as a sole practitioner at the Law Office of Metcalf & Wolf from 2009 to 2010, and served as a staff attorney for the Louisville Metro Public Defender’s office from 2007 to 2009.