At issue is whether the court has been ensuring adequate representation and due process to juvenile defendants in the Marion Co. juvenile court. The Star cites a number of appellate court decisions which were highly critical of court magistrate's handling of cases where there was scant evidence of criminal wrongdoing but the court nonetheless found the defendants guilty. The Star writes:
The Marion County Superior Court is responsible for operation of the juvenile system. But for two decades, Judge James Payne was given wide latitude to run the juvenile court, the detention center and the juvenile probation agency as he saw fit. Payne even reviewed and signed off on all rulings by magistrates under his supervision.
"I'm not saying Judge Payne said 'Keep your nose out of my business.' He wasn't like that," says Presiding Judge Cale Bradford. "But he had always run -- he had always run -- juvenile court and there really hadn't been a clamoring from the Downtown courts or local government to have more involvement out in juvenile."
Judge Payne's credibility as the state's Director of Child Services in the Daniels' administration is no do doubt going to be severely undermined by these reports. How do lead the reform of a system you played such a big part in screwing up?