Is Our Court System Polluted by Psychopaths?

CORRUPTION WATCH-While being a psychopath may not be a requirement to become a judge, it seems to be an advantage. But what exactly is a psychopath? 

Colloquially, psychopath means someone whose behavior is so criminal that society sees it as also insane. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual [DSM] recognizes that the terms psychopath, sociopath, and anti-social all refer to the same DSM Personality Disorder and assign the numerical identification DSM-5 301.7.  

The DSM-5 uses this diagnosis for people who habitually and pervasively disregard or violate the rights and considerations of others without remorse. They engage in behavior that would be grounds for criminal arrest and prosecution, or in behaviors that skirt the edges of the law or manipulate and hurt others in ways that are unethical, immoral, irresponsible, or violate social norms and expectations. Operating with an impaired conscience, their actions are based on their own desires without regard for harm caused to others. They often get sadistic pleasure from the harm they cause. (2018 Theravive, David Porter, MA, LADC & Christie Hunter, MA, RCC,) 

Psychopaths often gain a significant degree of power.  They seek out power for a couple reasons: First, to the extent that they gain sadistic pleasure from harming people, power is an aphrodisiac. And second, having power protects them from retribution. Being a judge satisfies both these inclinations, and the state gives judges the extra reward of legal immunity. Plus, the Commission on Judicial Performance (CJP) and the State Bar provide additional protections. It would be strange not to find psychopaths disproportionately represented in the judiciary. 

Have you encountered any judges acting arbitrarily? Have you been to Family Law court? Have you been given a dual diagnosis by a court appointed evaluator and then ordered into treatment at the evaluator’s clinic? Have you been charged tens of thousands of dollars for a court appointed expert to write a report and discovered that you’re paying a fortune for pages of transcription of your own sessions?  

Like the teenage girls Larry Nassar molested, people are not prepared for judicial rape. People go to court with the naive expectation that the judges will be fair, honest and wise, rather than psychopathic SOBs. A common first reaction is for the abused person to question themselves. 

Sometimes, victims are so shaken that they wait for the reporter’s transcript to make certain they understood what the judge said. Don’t be surprised when the words you clearly recall are gone – as if they were never uttered. Litigants are not allowed to tape record the court’s proceedings, so how do you prove the court had the transcript cleansed?   

How does a litigant know if a judge is a psychopath? Seldom does a litigant have enough experience with a judge to provide a diagnosis and virtually no litigant is qualified to diagnose anyone. With enough experience, however, people realize that there is something seriously wrong. 

What about Judge Ronald M. Sohigian? 

The CJP wait until Sohigian retired at age 76 to make mildly critical comments about the judge who was probably the most notoriously atrocious judge in central district. Of course, like Donald Trump (who is a Histrionic but probably not a psychopath), he would revel in any kind words by sycophants. Psychopaths are not people with whom one trifles. For more candid remarks about ex-judge Sohigian, read The Robing Room:    

“The cruelest most abusive PERSON I have ever been around.” 

“He abused his robe and the public trust.” 

“Smart enough guy and NEVER hesitates to let you know how smart he thinks he is. As ill-tempered as they get. Rude, abusive, a complete tyrant. Hasn't changed in decades. A complete horse's rear. Bitter and nasty.” 

About Norwalk’s Judge John Torribio, The Robing Room says, “intelligent, generally knowledgeable on the law, but suffers from the infirmity of being saddled with the temperament of a rattlesnake.” As the DSM notes, psychopaths are usually smart which is why they are so dangerous. 

“There is something not right with this judge. There is a history of something beyond extreme bias . . . There seems to be a pattern of making up facts….” 

Judge Torribio has quite a psychopathic flare. He changes the facts and uses his religious prejudices against attorneys and litigants in his courtroom. Any judge can make his opinions appear reasonable by lying about the facts. The Queen of Hearts in Alice Through the Looking Glass is more stable than Judge Torribio who has prevented Jews from attending side bars since they “refuse Jesus Christ.”  He justifies his behavior by claiming a state constitutional right.   

The list of judicial psychopaths is too long for this article. A book on these psychopaths would run volumes, but it would be remiss not to mention recently departed Justice Paul Turner. He would make orders without hearings and without providing notice and without jurisdiction and without regard for evidence. Justice Turner would change court files to reflect his revisionist history. He would threaten attorneys to quit cases so that his friends could become the attorney of record and be awarded attorney’s fees. Justice Turner helped commit identify theft. He took a defective subpoena in one case and put it in his desk and refused to allow it to be used by the defendant. The other justices and court staff knew what he was doing but they all protected him. Moral cowardice nurtures psychopathy. 

The entire court system is polluted by psychopaths. Corrupt judges invent bogus facts and then use those lies to disbar attorneys and imprison them. It was for good reason that the federal court said that there is an “epidemic of misconduct”  in the California courts. 


(Richard Lee Abrams is a Los Angeles attorney and a CityWatch contributor. He can be reached at: Abrams views are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of CityWatch.) Edited for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.