Texas judge is reprimanded after explaining his 'tree and a rope' Facebook comment

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A Texas judge who wrote a Facebook post recommending a “tree and a rope” for an accused killer of a police detective has been reprimanded after the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct didn’t buy his explanation.

Judge James Oakley of Burnet County was reprimanded last week and ordered to complete four hours of racial sensitivity training and 30 hours of training for new judges, the Austin American-Statesman reports.

Oakley wrote the comment last November after a black man was arrested in the slaying of a white San Antonio detective. Oakley told the judicial conduct commission he was referring to hangings in the old West rather than lynchings.

Oakley’s explanation to the commission referred to a hanging reference in a 1980s Pace Picante salsa ad. When a chef tried to substitute salsa made in New York for the condiment made in San Antonio, an outraged cowboy said, “Get a rope.”

The reprimand (PDF) said that Oakley made statements during his appearance before the commission that indicated he could benefit from racial sensitivity training.

Updated at 2:31 p.m. to add a link to the reprimand.

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