Please, guys, give us—and yourselves—a break.
That was the clear message, although it was said more judiciously—not judicially—because U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson was in a suit rather than in his robe, even if he did speak from the bench.
Hudson took the extraordinary step today of personally telling the news media that a defendant had agreed to plead guilty and when he would do so. Of course, it is Michael Vick who will appear next Monday at 10:30 a.m. Vick is expected to plead guilty to the same charge that three co-defendants already have pleaded to: one count of engaging in an interstate dogfighting conspiracy.
The judge emphasized that Vick is most unlikely to be at the courthouse before then and that any unexpected appearance would be posted on the court’s Web site in plenty of time for the media to gather. “You will be advised of everything as it occurs,” Hudson said. “Govern yourselves accordingly.”
Hudson prefaced his marks by noting the constant presence of the media on the courthouse steps in recent days.
Mary Kay Hatton, the chief deputy clerk for the Richmond Division, made a rare courtroom appearance to hear Hudson’s remarks. “He knows these people want a life,” she said with a nod to reporters. “He’s trying to do it in a nice way.”