Honorable Vic Fleming
Little Rock Municipal Court (Second Division)
600 West Markham
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201
RE: Advisory Opinion # 2000-03
Dear Judge Fleming:
You have asked if a judge may write a
letter to a sentencing judge at the request of the defendant, the
defendant’s attorney, or someone on his or her behalf.
Canon 2(B) of the Arkansas Code of Judicial Conduct states:
"A judge shall not allow family,
social, political or other relationships to influence the judge’s
judicial conduct or judgment. A judge shall not lend the prestige of
judicial office to advance the private interests of the judge or
others; nor shall a judge convey or permit others to convey the
impression that they are in a special position to influence the judge.
A judge shall not testify voluntarily as a character witness."
Whenever a judge writes a letter to a
sentencing judge such as you have suggested, it absolutely does lend
the prestige of judicial office to advance the private interest of
others, and therefore, we think that a judge should not write such
letters. See, In re Judge Frank A.Marullo, Jr., No. 96-O-2222,
Very truly yours,
Edwin B. Alderson, Jr.
For the Committee