For many, judges have a little bit of a bad reputation. In the eyes of some people, they carry a stigma that no matter the charge, the judge will simply throw the book at you. But what we often forget is that although they are responsible for the ruling of civil and criminal cases across different countries, they are humans, too.
In Kentucky, a judge has become viral over the weekend after scheduling an unconventional, yet moving meeting inside the courtroom. On Friday, Judge Amber Wolf, from Jefferson County, KY, isn’t above making criminals feel a bit more like ordinary people. Time and time again she has shown compassion in the courtroom. A recent ruling was no exception. Despite an issued no contact order, Wolf allowed for an incarcerated inmate to have his first visitation with his one-month-old baby boy. Isn’t she amazing?
James Roeder, 24, and his wife, Ashley, are co-defendants in a burglary case and they had been ordered not to have contact with each other while on trial. Of Friday however, Judge Wolf, during one of the couple’s hearings, she made a temporary exception to the order when she heard that James Roeder hadn’t seen his son yet.
Judge Wolf invited Ashley Roeder to bring her newborn into the courtroom so her husband, James Roeder, could meet his baby. Ashley Roeder handed her husband the baby as they both began to cry. After noticing that James was wiping away tears with the use of his jumpsuit, Judge Wolf handed out tissues to him, and to everyone else inside the courtroom, those who were obviously moved with what they got to experience. “I know you have a no-contact order between you and Ms. Roeder that I issued and I’m not changing that,” Wolf said in a video of the encounter.
“I don’t want you to say anything about your case at all,” said Judge Wolf. “But I understand that there is a chance you’re going to go back to [prison], and that your baby is a month old and you haven’t met that baby yet.”
“I’m making a temporary exception right in front of me on the record so that you can meet this baby. This is your son,” she said. The video encounter has been widely shared on social media for the past days.
It may seem like a small gesture, but for James, who got to finally hold his baby for the first time, it was obviously an important milestone to him. Well, thanks to the kindhearted Judge Wolf, he was able to see and touch his son. After the meeting, Wolf reportedly thanked Ashley Roeder for “letting me be a part of that.”
Her compassionate act has earned her praise from people around the world. Way to go, Judge!