Appellate Judge George Fearing stepped in to handle a criminal case in August after all the normal judges had conflicts of interest; I observed part of this trial specifically to see his court processes.
Judge Fearing showed an orderly and logical mind, frequently citing chapter and verse of prior case law, and he efficiently made decisions on lawyers’ motions from both sides. This man knows his legal stuff backwards and forward, and he came across well — showing respect to the jury and all parties. He also interjected a few bits of humor, getting the jurors and both lawyers to laugh and smile (defendant didn’t). Trial defendant VanWinkle was found guilty and got seven years for threatening homicide on a judge.
Judge Fearing, up for re-election now, showed the temperament and thorough knowledge of the law needed to be an appellate judge — of course that’s his current job. Last month the Herald reported that Fearing is bringing his Appeals Court to cities in Eastern Washington, most recently Pasco, to let the citizenry get more visibility into the court system. Nice, that’s a first!
In the election, let’s have Judge Fearing continue as the appellate judge.
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Cecil Kindle, West Richland