NATION : Judge Censured for Gay Remark

From Times Wire Services

A Dallas judge was censured today for saying he gave a murderer a lighter sentence because the victims were "queers."

The State Commission on Judicial Conduct said District Judge Jack Hampton's remarks violated the judicial code, which prohibits public comment on a pending case and requires judges to promote confidence in the judiciary.

Hampton came under fire in explaining to a reporter why he sentenced Richard Lee Bednarski to 30 years instead of life in prison for murdering two men in a park.

"Those two gays that got killed wouldn't have been killed if they hadn't been cruising the streets picking up teen-age boys," Hampton said. "I don't much care for queers cruising the streets picking up teen-age boys."

The commission could have recommended Hampton's removal from the bench, as gay and lesbian groups and others had urged.

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