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February 12, 2020

Statement from Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor on Allegheny County Judge’s Alleged Racially Derogatory Comments

In response to recent reports that Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas Judge Mark Tranquilli is alleged to have made racially derogatory comments about a black juror, Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor Hon. A. Michael Snyder (ret.) issued the following statement:

“The Philadelphia Bar Association, and its members, have long been committed to the imperative of respect for all individuals. We cannot, and will not, tolerate comments by a jurist which reflect racial bias or disparagement. The allegation of any such comments by a judge demands a full investigation.

“We condemn the comments alleged to have been made by Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas Judge Mark Tranquilli. We join with the Allegheny County Bar Association and the Pennsylvania Bar Association in demanding a full and complete investigation of the alleged conduct.

“Such comments, if made, reflect an intolerance and lack of respect for all involved in the judicial process. The fair administration of justice demands that everyone, of any race, ethnicity or gender be treated with dignity and respect.

“We cannot expect our citizenry to respect the judicial process if members of the judiciary do not demonstrate a respect for those who appear before them.

“We must remember that justice denied to one is justice denied to all.

“Therefore, we anticipate a full and appropriate review by the Pennsylvania Judicial Conduct Board. We further anticipate a speedy and just resolution of these charges.”

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