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Interview With Judge Judy

Aired June 18, 2007 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight...



KING: ... Judge Judy slams her gavel on Paris Hilton's jail sentence and what it says about celebrity justice.


SHEINDLIN: And if I'm rude, so be it.


KING: And how about justice in America?

The short sentence for the minister's wife convicted in his shotgun killing. The Duke lacrosse D.A. Being disbarred. Controversial cases that have people questioning the system.


SHEINDLIN: That's ridiculous.


KING: And now Judge Judy renders her verdict, as only she can.


SHEINDLIN: Well, then what are you complaining about?


KING: Judge Judy -- she takes no nonsense, but she will take your calls next on LARRY KING LIVE.

It's always great to welcome Judge Judy to LARRY KING LIVE. She presides over the top rated, Emmy nominated, syndicated court show that carries her name, "Judge Judy." A "New York Times" best-selling author and a former judge in New York's family court.

We have a text question almost every other day and our text question last Friday was: "If you had been the judge in the case, do you think -- what was the question -- do you think, would they have sent Paris Hilton to jail for the amount of time she was sent?"

And there's the result?

Ninety-five percent says you would have sent Paris to jail.

Were they right?

SHEINDLIN: Oh, they're absolutely right. I think that a justice system that doesn't mean what it says is a mistake. And when a judge says to somebody, I'm going to give you an opportunity to remain free -- you committed a crime. In this case, she was driving while intoxicated and endangered a lot of people. But I'm going to give you a chance to stay out of jail, even though I could put you in jail for what you did, but you have to abide by these rules. And she breaks the rules.

And you said, listen, the next time you break the rules, I'm really going to put you in jail. And nothing happens. And she breaks the rules again. And there's another excuse.

And the third time, if you let her get away with it, the rest of the people in this country say we do not have a justice system here that's fair, that's equal and that means business. I mean we've done the same thing with criminals since the last 50 years. We have not -- we have a justice system that doesn't mean what it says. We have a... go ahead.

KING: But should fame be a break?

That is, if every other person who had this similar thing and had the same breaks got two days, three days in jail, why should she do more than the next person?

She should not do less, but she should not do more, should she?

SHEINDLIN: No, I don't think that she should necessarily do more. But I think that criminals are in type -- criminals. And let's understand each other, Paris Hilton is a criminal -- a little criminal, but a criminal...

KING: Well, drunk driving is (INAUDIBLE).

SHEINDLIN: But a criminal. But a criminal. She's -- fortunately for her, she didn't hurt anybody -- or herself. But once criminals come into the arena of the -- of the justice system and they're convicted, you are left to the variances of justice.

Some judges are stern. They'll say you get three to five. Some judges are a little more harsh. They'll say you're going to get six to 11. If you show up late in court -- you know, my husband sat in the Bronx Supreme Court. And if -- and he started his court on time, promptly, 9:30, court was in session. If you didn't show up and you had -- and you had a court appearance, he issued a warrant for your arrest. You showed up at 9:40, you were put in jail.

It was the only time that you ever arrived late in his courtroom, because every criminal defendant's got to know, if you come late, this is what happens.

KING: What is the Paris, Britney, Lindsay, what's the parents' role in this?


KING: You know, they're all over 18.

SHEINDLIN: Well, I don't know the Hiltons. But I know that what they did was they didn't give their daughter a sense of purpose. And a young woman who is blessed as she is blessed with beautiful looks and with the resource to do whatever she wants with her life has chosen the most vacant way to spend it. She might be beautiful when she's 25. But nobody is going to want to sit next to her at a dinner table when she's 50 or 60. They're going to be quick changing the place cards because her looks will have diminished and she will have absolutely nothing to say until she gets -- unless she gets a grip and puts something up here to keep her what I like to call relevant.

KING: How about overriding the sheriff, though?

The sheriff released her.


KING: And the judge sends her back in.


KING: Conflict in the courts?

SHEINDLIN: There's conflict in the courts. And it's my understanding that these two people -- that this sheriff and the and the courts have had an ongoing feud about authority. But this judge was very clear. This -- the copy of the order that was memorialized in the newspaper, at least that I saw, said no electronic bracelets, no home -- he made specific orders with regard to her confinement. And that being the case, the sheriff doesn't have any right, absent appealing that order, to change it.

KING: We have an e-mail question from Kathy in Egan, Minnesota: "Are you as tough on your children and grandchildren" -- and some of them are here today -- "as you are on the bench?"

SHEINDLIN: I don't think I was tough with my children. I think my -- I would like to think my children grew up seeing parents with a work ethic. They knew the difference between right and wrong. I remember telling one of my children if you go out in a car and you drink and drive and you get arrested, forget my number. Don't call me. I'm not interested. You -- you do something wrong and you've been given the privilege of having a car, driving it, you have parents who are involved in the justice system and you're going to humiliate us?

Don't call me if you get -- and none of them ever did. So I think that I was not a tough parent, but they knew that they had certain responsibilities because of who we were.

As far as the grandchildren are concerned, they get anything they want.

KING: Do you think Paris Hilton will learn from this?


KING: You do?

SHEINDLIN: I know one thing. I don't think she's ever going to drink and drive again. I think that if she's going to a club, she will take a driver. That's a smart thing to do, if she's going to continue to do the circuit, because I think that she never wants to put herself in this situation again. And I don't think she's an alcoholic. I just think she's a party girl.

KING: And what do we do about a tragic case like Mary Winkler? Gets three years, 210 days for the 2006 fatal shooting of her preacher husband. She had already spent behind bars, that counted towards the sentence, so she only did about two months. The husband, the judge -- the court bought the fact that the husband had treated her very cruelly.

SHEINDLIN: Well, the jury evidently bought that, too.

KING: They sure did.

SHEINDLIN: Because they -- and I don't know. You know, I wasn't there. It's very hard to Monday morning quarterback on a case. But if you see a woman who was otherwise a responsible, moral person, who nobody would think would do anything to harm her children or her mate, engage in this kind of conduct, where she could actually -- took a life, there has to be something wrong. And if it wasn't abuse, then it was mental illness.

Now, we had -- you remember the Herman Ternawer (ph) shooting?

KING: She got a lot of time.

SHEINDLIN: She got a lot of time. It was different -- different juries, a different judge. It comes back to once you're convicted of a crime, judges are just human beings. Some are going to give you a lot of time, some are going to give you a little bit of time. Some are more sympathetic, some are less sympathetic.

So the lesson and the moral of that is don't be a criminal because you never know what's going to happen. Paris Hilton may get 43 days, somebody else may get three days.

KING: But all crimes aren't the same. This was a crime that apparently the judge and the jury said, well, we understand why she did it.

SHEINDLIN: Well, you could understand why...

KING: She shouldn't have did it...

SHEINDLIN: You could understand -- I mean I'm not supporting it. I'm not a proponent of it. But you can understand why Herman Ternawer (ph) was an abusive -- he may be physically abusive -- but was a verbally abusive person. He was an emotionally abusive person. He had -- she became addicted to -- to pills as a result of her liaison with him. And she was off. There's no question she was off.

KING: Judge Judy is our guest.

We'll be taking calls, too; e-mails.

Lots going on.

Don't go away.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you'd better run and hide. I'm trouble, yes, trouble now. I'm trouble, y'all. I've got trouble in town. I'm trouble, yes, trouble now. I'm trouble now, in trouble, trouble now.




SHEINDLIN: You seem to indicate here that you were annoyed with her because she should have been in the fast lane. That's what you seem to indicate here. There was a ton of traffic...


SHEINDLIN: Well, that's ridiculous. I mean that's the most ridiculous thing I ever heard. There were tens of thousands of cars on the road. You're complaining about this lady because she didn't want to go in a fast lane with her daughter. That's ridiculous.


KING: I gather you thought it was ridiculous.

SHEINDLIN: I thought it was very.

KING: We have -- your -- your reason -- your look at the fallout of the lacrosse case in North Carolina. Mike Nifong is disbarred for the actions he took as a pros -- or didn't take as a prosecutor.

What do you make of that?

SHEINDLIN: It's interesting.

Do you think that what he did was just as egregious if they were guilty?

Let's say that there was a jury trial and they were convicted. His actions were still the same as they were, despite the fact that they were eventually totally exonerated by the attorney general.

I think it sends a very clear message to law enforcement people, to district attorneys, that you have the responsibility to prosecute people on behalf of the county in which you live. But you have a greater responsibility to see to it that the justice system is served and not perverted.

KING: You have just as much of a responsibility...

SHEINDLIN: Absolutely right.

KING: ... to exonerate the innocent.

SHEINDLIN: Absolutely. Your responsibility is to ensure that the justice system works. And if by your conduct, because of your grandstanding or because of your need for public attention or for whatever other reason, you -- for it be...

KING: Election.

SHEINDLIN: ... an election coming up, whatever it is, you place people's lives at risk, you deserve to lose your license to practice law.

KING: Do you think a lawsuit -- a civil lawsuit would be successful? It probably would, huh?

SHEINDLIN: Absolutely. Absolutely. Given the findings that were made by the commission and given -- I don't know what the quantum of proof is, but the quantum of proof in a civil lawsuit is less than beyond a reasonable doubt, depending upon jurisdiction -- either clear and convincing evidence or a preponderance of the evidence. I think not only did the boys have a good case against him, but also that coach.

Remember the coach?

KING: Yes. He did -- yes, who lost his...

SHEINDLIN: Who lost his job.

KING: Duke university has reached a financial settlement with the three former players caught up in this case.

Do you feel there was a racial issue here?

The girl was black.

SHEINDLIN: I don't think that there was a racial issue. I think -- I don't -- I think it was -- I think it was probably -- Nifong probably had a legitimate belief at first that something happened. But as the evidence started to accumulate, what probably happened -- then I'm just postulating. He couldn't back down. He had already come out with such strength.

KING: Caught up in it?

SHEINDLIN: He got caught up in it. But a big mistake. You can't do that as a D.A.

SHEINDLIN: E-mail question from Rusty in Brookline, Massachusetts: "Do you think what happened in the Duke lacrosse case is an argument for the position that prosecutors and judges should not have to run for their jobs?"

SHEINDLIN: There was just -- just today there was a piece, an editorial in one of the papers about judges being elected and how much money they're spending on elections and where this money is coming, from and it's coming from business interests. I've always felt that merit selection of judges was really important, that judges should not be involved in the political process.

KING: What about prosecutors?

SHEINDLIN: Well, if you can find a way to merit -- have merit selection with regard to prosecutors, why not?

KING: Who picks them?

SHEINDLIN: Who -- but then, then who picks them?

You know, you have to -- I don't know. I don't know. I think that probably this fellow Nifong is an aberration. I don't -- I think that most prosecutors that I knew, the ones in the five boroughs of New York, the ones in Florida where I live, they are very, very careful to make sure that if the justice system is accusing somebody, they've got the merchandise and they know what the Supreme Court has said with regard to exculpatory evidence. They know their responsibility to turn over exculpatory evidence immediately. They know what their job is.

I see more of a problem with judges who have to ask other people for money because so much of what they do is private. You know, very few people have the money to appeal a judicial ruling, so that when the judge issues a ruling -- and I'm not talking only in a criminal case, we're talking about in civil cases -- where you most often have the possibility of graft or corruption -- in the civil cases -- you want to ensure that that judge is not biased.

KING: Judge Judy is our guest.

Lots more to come.

Don't go away.


SHEINDLIN: You went to visit her?


SHEINDLIN: How did you get there?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sometimes the bus, because it's for free. And then sometimes I rode a vehicle.

SHEINDLIN: Drove a vehicle? Without a license?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, rode a vehicle. Rode in a vehicle.

SHEINDLIN: Rode in a vehicle?


SHEINDLIN: So who would take you there, your mother?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, no, no. A couple of my partners.

SHEINDLIN: Partners.

Do you have a business?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Some of my friends, cousins, you know.

SHEINDLIN: You weren't an English major, right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. I specialized in Ebonics. No, I'm just...

SHEINDLIN: Ha, ha, ha, ha.




JUDGE LARRY SEIDLIN: I'm not releasing her. This body belongs it me now.

Find out who the father is. It's enough baloney here.

When I used to teach tennis, I used to wear white shorts and a white top. It always looked good. You look good.

HOWARD K. STERN: I want them to be together.

SEIDLIN: I hope to god you guys give the kid the right shot.

(END VIDEO CLIP) KING: Should there be a "Judge Larry Show?"

SHEINDLIN: I don't know.

KING: What did you think of him, the Anna Nicole Smith trial, the part of it that he...

SHEINDLIN: Oh, I thought it was a bit theatrical.

KING: Were you a little like that in court?

SHEINDLIN: Worse. A lot worse.


SHEINDLIN: A lot worse.

KING: Well, isn't theatrics what it's about?

If he -- if he wanted a television show...

SHEINDLIN: Well, well if it -- you know, when I say worse, I made a point -- and when people came to watch, they came to watch because they knew that something was going to happen in my courtroom. There was no wishy-washy. There was no gray. You were either in or out. You got custody. You got visitation. You got joint custody. You lost the rights to your children. You went to jail for 18 months. You went to jail -- judges are supposed to make decisions. That's what their job is. If you cannot make a decision, go open a shoe store. Do something else. And when you have a judge that seems to have a problem making the decision...

KING: He did.

SHEINDLIN: ... that's not a judge. That's somebody who says, you know what?

I want everybody to like me.

KING: Do you know of him in Florida at all?

SHEINDLIN: I don't know of him. I don't know of him at all. He seems like a nice enough fellow. He seems compassionate. I don't know. "Judge Larry Show?"

I'm not sure.

KING: A "Wall Street Journal" poll, 68 percent of Americans think the country is on the wrong track with regard to the justice system.


KING: ... with regard to all -- in fact, 60 -- on the wrong track with regard to lots of things.

The country a little out of whack?

SHEINDLIN: Larry, when I started my little television program 11-and-a-half years ago, I never thought we would survive a year, because most things fail. We're entering our twelfth season. You have to say why. I mean, it's not because I'm gorgeous. It's not because I'm 5'6." It's not because I can, you know, be on the cover of "Vogue" magazine. And it's not because I'm the smartest girl in the world, because I know that I'm not.

But I think that the people were hungry for definitive justice. I think that the -- the travesties of justice that we've witnessed over the last 20 years and the ridiculousness -- to allow somebody to sue for millions of dollars in this country and to waste judicial resources because he didn't get his pants back in the right -- in the right condition is the most ridiculous waste of public taxpayer funds.

KING: But how do you stop someone from suing?

SHEINDLIN: How do -- very easily. You file your papers. It comes before me and I say you need therapy.

KING: Wasn't that a judge, though?

SHEINDLIN: You need therapy.

KING: That was a judge who filed.

SHEINDLIN: Yes. You need therapy. You don't need a lawsuit. You need therapy. And...

KING: That was some suit, though.

SHEINDLIN: It was a very important -- it wasn't even a suit. It was a pair of pants.

KING: That was a nice pair of pants.

SHEINDLIN: It was a very important...

KING: First of all, it always held its crease.

SHEINDLIN: If that's all it was holding...

KING: You forgot that.

KING: ... it was fine.


You're a New Yorker.


KING: Two New Yorkers are leading in their polls in their presidential race, Hillary on the Democratic side, Rudy on the Republican side. What do you make of this?


KING: You could have an all New York presidential race?

SHEINDLIN: Well, we live in Florida now. But, you know, I was in New York for many, many years. And I don't think it makes any difference where you come from. The sad part for Americans is that the American position in the world is not what it used to be. And I was saddened -- and I'm sure lots of other people were saddened -- by the reporting of the president's visit to Albania, which was the only country that he visited where he was warmly received in the world. Every place else he went -- and I'm -- some might be him and some is it just a reflection of people feel about us.

There was even talk about creating, as you know, you know, a whole European Union. All Europe would sort of gather together and create one government that could stand toe to toe with the United States.

There's something that we're not doing right.

KING: Obviously.

SHEINDLIN: And, to me, the next president of the United States has to be somebody that the world looks at and says America -- the United States realizes we have to make a change.

KING: Could it be a woman?

SHEINDLIN: I think so. It could be a woman. It could be an African-American. It could be a Mormon. It could be an Italian. But the face has to be somebody that the world can look at and say this is somebody that gives me a good feeling. And I don't know who that candidate is -- yet. Hopefully, we'll know.

KING: Front page "USA Today" asks: "Should Kids Go To Court In Chains?"

In 28 states, at least some juvenile courts require defendants to be handcuffed or shackled in court.


KING: You favor that?

SHEINDLIN: Oh, I think that sometimes juveniles have to be shackled in court. But I think that the policy -- a blanket policy is wrong.

Jerry and I, many, many years ago visited a courthouse in Florida. We went to the juvenile court.

You know, it was one of those busman's holidays things? And we -- I was astounded to see all the kids come in shackled -- not only manacled, but shackled, you know, hands to feet so that they had to walk in a shuffle. And having worked in the family court for 25 years, I can tell you that sometimes juveniles had to be restrained.

But I think to do that as a blanket policy is ridiculous. I mean I think that more violence -- there was more violence -- there was more violence between people -- between litigants in custody disputes in family court than there were with juveniles, either trying to escape or attacking a guard or attacking their lawyer.

Adult defendants aren't shackled when they're in court, unless there's a reason. Once a juvenile presents a reason for being manacled, then I think that you have to do it.

KING: We'll take a break.

As we go to break, more on that administrative judge in New York suing the Korean tailor.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're just greedy.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey there, fancy pants. Play the songs...



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Frivolous and ridiculous litigation.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Roy Pearson spoke of the trauma of losing his pants.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Profound questions about his judicial temperament.









SHEINDLIN: What were you arrested for on September 8, Mr. Spears?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was a high-speed chase.

SHEINDLIN: High-speed chase with whom?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The police department.

SHEINDLIN: The police were drag racing with you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Something like that. No, OK. We were playing on the bike.

SHEINDLIN: On the freeway?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On a freeway on the way to a bike night.

SHEINDLIN: So there were...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There were other cars and stuff.

SHEINDLIN: I want you to be quiet. I want you to let him dig this grave all by himself. Do you understand?



KING: We're back. If you look closely you can see I am holding my new iPod. Why, you may ask? Because we have a brand new weekly podcast. Head to or iTunes, and you can download our very first podcast, Angelina Jolie. We'll have a new one for you every week. That's at or on iTunes. Technology advances on.

Speaking of that, let's go to our King Cam where we go to people on the street who might have a question or two for Judge Judy, watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just wanted to ask you do you think David Hasselhoff should have got his kids back and if it's a good example after the drunken video.


KING: Obvious question.

SHEINDLIN: His children are teenagers. It's very hard to tell a teenager what to do, where to go and where to live. I know very little intimately about this case because I haven't heard the facts.

KING: But you know about the tape.

SHEINDLIN: But I know what I saw and I know that he must have children who adore him because it's clear to me that any judge who gave him custody of the children had to have interviewed the children. The children probably had an attorney. Their attorney voiced their opinion, voiced their preference, and the judge in all probability said, listen; this is where these children want to live. There's probably a good reason and probably understood that reason. I don't because they never made that public.

KING: When you were a judge, do you listen to teenage children and would, say, a 17-year-old count a lot to you?

SHEINDLIN: Oh, absolutely. You know, you can't tell a 17-year- old that they should live with their mother if they want to live with their father. They'll say I'm not living there. I'm going to live with my father. I'll take my bag and I'll leave.

KING: Are celebrity custody fights like Alec Baldwin and those, are they the hardest -- a judge in Florida told me once that the hardest cases he had to adjudicate were custody of children.

SHEINDLIN: Well, yes, and it has nothing to do with people of celebrity. I mean people of celebrity don't love their children more than other people.

KING: Right.

SHEINDLIN: Sometimes I think that they -- some celebrities are so involved with themselves they love their children a little less than other people love their children, not more, because I don't think that you put a child through a custody dispute if you can avoid it at any cost, especially one that lingers for five or six years as the Baldwin case has lingered. I think that that's the fault of the justice system. I think that the judge who's handling that case or the series of judges who are handling that case have done this family and this child a terrible disservice by not making a decision. That's what judges are supposed to do, judge, make a ruling.

KING: But what prompts a delay like that?

SHEINDLIN: You let somebody else...

KING: You file a motion, they file a motion.

SHEINDLIN: let somebody else run your courtroom. Only one person can run a courtroom. If it's not the judge, it's going to be the lawyer. If it's not the lawyer, it's going to be a litigant. Sometimes it's a court officer.

Now if you're perfectly happy having somebody else make the decisions in your courtroom, the time of the case, the timing of the case, when it gets started, the judge is on the bench at 9:30, the people show up at 11:00. What is running the courthouse? Who is running the asylum? Not the judge if the judge lets him get away with that, and if lawyers are presenting you with frivolous motions, you take the motions and you say to them, listen guys and girls, these motions are going in the dumpster. Either you go outside and tell your clients that this is nonsense, whether the children are picked up on Friday or Saturday is not an issue that's going to occupy my time for the next six weeks, so go out and make a decision. And I'm not going to allow you to rip off your clients at $750 an hour and rip off the public by having me waste my time because you want to send your kids to private school. That is not going to happen.

KING: I know we can ask you about anything so what's your thoughts on Rosie O'Donnell and "The View" and that whole...

SHEINDLIN: Yes, craziness. For those of you who aren't, that's craziness.

KING: The reason Yiddish is an international language; mishigosh is a better word than craziness.

SHEINDLIN: I think Rosie is a terribly talented lady and I think that there's also a piece of her that's angry. I think that Donald Trump is a phenomenally successful man. And I think that there's a piece of him that just likes to give it to you. And that's a certain immaturity. Now I know I'll probably get flack for that, but I think that's all true. And I think that there's a certain arrogance about him that she finds objectionable. But if you're a pro, you don't bring that into a public arena. And I think...

KING: She shouldn't have started it?

SHEINDLIN: I think that she shouldn't have started it. I think it wasn't necessary. There's a difference between good humor and mean-spiritedness. And I think that that's what he reacted to. He went overboard and he's cruel. I mean, he called Elisabeth Hasselbeck a name. You know he just is mean spirited and without any cause.

He's a lucky guy. He's got beautiful children. He's got a beautiful wife. He's got beautiful ex-wives. He's got a lot of dough. He doesn't have to step on people who are smaller than him. It makes him small.

KING: He was a guest of our show, what did you think of our tuberculosis traveler Andrew Speaker?

SHEINDLIN: Don't know enough about it. However, I said to my self what would I do -- what would I tell my son if he had the same kind of scenario that this young man did, with a group of doctors that said to him listen, can you go to Europe, which is what he said, that there was no restriction of his travel. They evidently finished the tests that they did while he was in Greece, I think it was Greece, and they called him, contacted him and said, listen, have you to turn yourself into the local authorities, I don't know, on Crete, wherever he was or Koifu and await further instructions from us.

He says, well, bring me home, send Air Force One. You know if you think that I'm -- I'm an American citizen. I don't want to get stuck here. I'll die here. The best treatment is in the United States; give me some assurance you're going to get me there. And despite the fact that I heard a lot of waffling around from the government, I didn't get a great feeling that they said to him within 48 hours we will have transportation for you.

KING: No, they didn't say that.

SHEINDLIN: They didn't. And that's what they should have done. If it was so serious -- you know, we live in a country where a single soul is supposed to be important, where we are -- we are not here like you are -- when you see the movies, the pictures of Iran and Iraq and see people blown up in the streets and see 30, 40, 50 people, 130 people blown up, you sort of get numb to that. We have a dog in a well here in this country and it's front page news, and it's on CNN rescuing the dog from the well, the horse from the mud, a child from a well, one child, single person. This is a single human being, and I don't think he -- and I don't think he was treated -- that makes us different. So the government should have said to him you are our citizen and we will see to it that you get home safe.

KING: We're going to take a break and come back with more of Judge Judy. Our iPod still going strong. There's Angelina. Don't go away.


SHEINDLIN: I want to tell you something. You want to be...


SHEINDLIN: ... Hey, I'm speaking. You're not. You want to be a bum on your own time, that's fine. You have a 9-year-old child, forget her. You have a 9-year-old child. I wouldn't give you one iota of relief from your back child support. And I know the judges in New York City, sir. That's my hometown. And they're not going to do it either. They're not going to give you one break, especially after I send them this tape.



KING: We're back on LARRY KING LIVE with Judge Judy.

Alberto Gonzales, should he remain? He's hanging on.

SHEINDLIN: Oh, he's hanging on. I don't know. I don't know. I think we make such a big deal over certain things that cloud other really important issues. If I've got my politics right, when you have a new administration, a new administration can put in whomever they want to appointed posts, correct?

KING: Yes. The question there is if the reason was they were -- they were tough on Republican questions...

SHEINDLIN: Well, what you're supposed -- you're supposed to be even-handed.

KING: Correct.

SHEINDLIN: But if what you want is you want somebody who is more conservative, you want somebody who is more law and order or you want someone who is more liberal in a position of authority, and any administration can make that judgment. The problem is when you fib about it, that's the problem, a-ha, when you start fudging.

KING: So do you think he fudged?

SHEINDLIN: Do I think he fudged? I don't know. I don't know. Quite frankly, he's probably a very nice man. I like to see without any disparaging remarks about Alex Gonzalez, I like to see the person who is the face of justice in this country someone who is a person of strength. And I don't know whether we have that.

KING: Let's take a call for Judge Judy. Seattle, hello.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hello. Judge Judy, first of all, my husband and I are huge fans of yours and I want to say thank you for all you do.

SHEINDLIN: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Obviously I could spend a lot of time asking about the Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan, and the current issues of today. My question is related to a deeper systemic problem in society. In your experience and through your experiences, what do you see as a deeper root cause or causes for moral decline and lack of accountability in so many areas of our society today?

SHEINDLIN: You're right, right, and right.

KING: She wants to know the cause.

SHEINDLIN: I think that young people have no heroes anymore. There is a sense of entitlement. KING: Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio?

SHEINDLIN: A sense of entitlement among young people. There's also a sense of -- a lack of accomplishment is not something that you put a band-aid on by dying your hair chartreuse or piercing your nose and your lip and your ears and tattooing both arms and saying look at me, look at me. What you're supposed to do is you're supposed to fill your head with things that are wonderful. You're supposed to become as smart as you can be, as a contributing a member of society as you can be so that when people look at you and say this is somebody great, this is the valedictorian, the salutatorian, or look at you because you have more piercings than anybody on the block.

I think that there's a whole generation of lost young people. And does it start with the schools, you know, public schools. We talked about this. Well, Larry, you went to public school. I went to public school and we got great education. Now people are trying to avoid sending their children to the public school because the public school system in the country has really gone south.

KING: My kids go to public school.


KING: Beverly Hills but they go to public school.


KING: By the way, we've got an exclusive to tell you about, one week from tomorrow night, a week from tomorrow night, Tuesday, Sir Paul McCartney with his fellow former Beatle Ringo Starr, and John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono, and George Harrison's widow Olivia Harrison. A historic interview all together celebrating the one-year anniversary of Cirque du Soleil's Beatles tribute show, "Love" live on location from Las Vegas. That's Tuesday, June 26, one night from tomorrow on LARRY KING LIVE.

We'll be right back with more of Judge Judy.



SHEINDLIN: Show me proof that you sent the mother of the children support for August and September 2006. Show me proof that you sent it.


SHEINDLIN: You didn't send it. Well, then what are you complaining about? Somebody had to support your children.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm only going by what the court is telling me to go by.

SHEINDLIN: This court is telling you to go home.


KING: That show is funny. We're back with Judge Judy.

An e-mail question from Mike in Atlanta, Georgia. Do you think Scooter Libby should be pardoned by President Bush?

SHEINDLIN: We talked a little bit about this at the break. If you believe that somebody like Martha Stewart belonged in jail for lying to federal investigators and yet not convicted of any underlying crime, then you believe that Scooter Libby should go to jail because I think that the sense of those people who are calling for his pardon is that he is being used as a scapegoat for a much larger problem. For a national anger, and this is likely -- this is a good target.

Do I think he should be pardoned? Probably not. Do I think that the sentence that was imposed on him harsh? I do. Do I know why the sentence was, to me, a harsh sentence, I don't know why, unless it was because the...

KING: The judge came down very hard on him.


KING: Take a call from Dallas, hello.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, Larry. Well, as another ex-New Yorker, I was wondering what Judge Judy's position on the (UNINTELLIGIBLE), over the news of the improper use of e-mail by the White House that could number into the hundreds of thousands if not over a million and now all the big disappearance, a la the old Rosemary Wood Shuffle, and possibly at that time, the attorney general was counsel to the president. What impact and how does she feel about this?

SHEINDLIN: You know I have limited feelings about e-mails because I don't use that machine. And I always warn people that you can talk on the telephone and make a statement that you want to take back. And two seconds later, you say you know what I really didn't mean what I said or let me qualify that statement for a moment.

But people are used to sending these e-mails and memorializing -- I don't see any reason that they have to memorialize every thought, you know, from the time they wake up in the morning until the time they go to sleep at night. And people have become attached to their computers.

KING: It rules them.

SHEINDLIN: It rules them. They can't be away from it. And I don't get it. I don't -- I've never turned a computer on.

KING: I like Jackie Mason's line: "People send people's e-mail and then call them to say, 'Did you get my e-mail."

SHEINDLIN: Did you get my e-mail.

KING: Why didn't you call them in the first place? Whatever happened to the talking?

SHEINDLIN: I don't know. I really don't know the answer. All I can tell you is things -- when people write things that they wish they could take back, they try to lose them.

KING: Hey, you want the world to see you asking questions of my guest? Submit your I-Ask question via cell phone or web cam and go to and click on "Send us a Video e-mail." You can still submit questions for Thursday's guest, Kathy Griffin.

Back with more of Judge Judy right after this.


KING: What do you make of this kind of tragic case in Georgia? A boy is 15 years old. He's caught having oral sex with a girl, consensual. He's convicted of aggravated child molestation and serves six years in jail. The legislature changes the law. And they are fighting to keep him back in jail even though the judge wants to throw him out. The legislators are trying -- I mean the prosecuting attorney is trying to keep him in jail. For what?

SHEINDLIN: Well, it's an injustice. And if a law is wrong, and clearly they found ultimately that this law was not only wrong but unenforceable, to have it not apply retroactively to cover this young man is a tragedy.

And I'm surprised at the chief law enforcement officer there for not saying, you know what, whatever it is, he learned his lesson forever. I mean, he's going to have to register as a sex offender when he comes out, ridiculous, ludicrous and unjust. And I think that when you said to me the public's perception of the country is dim and the justice system is dim, this is an example. We want a justice system that's tough on crime. We don't want a justice system that's stupid. We want a justice system that apparently is doing the right thing. And nobody is going to give this young man any gold stars on his diploma for being involved with, you know, that kind of a sex party. He doesn't get any gold stars, but does he deserve to spend a decade of his life in prison? Absolutely not.

KING: Well, quickly, Your Honor, a question from Jerry in Austin, Texas, e-mail: "What do you think should be done about the problem of illegal aliens?"

SHEINDLIN: I think that we have a massive problem in this country. And I think that nobody can conceive of rounding up 12 million people and sending them home if there are 12 million illegals in this country and sending them home. So I think that you have to come up with a solution, a solution to try to keep the reasonable people -- let the reasonable people stay here and send the bad ones home packing. I don't know how to do that, but I certainly don't -- I think that those people who say that it's granting an amnesty, a really -- you know, when you have children and you make a rule and your rule is one that cannot abide by, it flies in the face of common sense to do something to say to somebody this is what should happen when you know it cannot possibly happen. It cannot possibly happen that we're going to deport 12 million people so figure out a way to fix it and make it right.

KING: Thank you, doll. See you soon.

SHEINDLIN: Thank you.

KING: The always wonderful Judge Judy.

So our text vote question of the night is would you want Judge Judy to preside over your court case? Text vote from your cell phone to CNNTV, which is 26688. Text King A for yes and King B for no.

We know that CNN's chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour is terrific. The news industry, if you consider the Peabodies, Emmies, George Pokes and DuPont Awards that she's taken home think she's pretty amazing too. And now Queen Elizabeth is recognizing her work. Christiane has been designated a commander of the British empire for her services to journalism. The CBE is a very prestigious honor, only a few journalists have ever received it. Our sincere congratulations to Christiane. She does CNN proud. We'll see you again tomorrow night.


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