Clinton County judge resigns over noose posting on social media

New York

A town judge in Clinton County has resigned after a complaint about a Facebook post of a noose under a phrase about making “evil people” fear punishment again.

The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct announced Tuesday that Altona Town Court Justice Kyle R. Canning resigned from the $8,700-a-year-job June 27.

Canning was served with a formal written complaint in May, alleging that he posted an image of a noose to his Facebook account, with the annotation in white capital letters, “IF WE WANT TO MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN WE WILL HAVE TO MAKE EVIL PEOPLE FEAR PUNISHMENT AGAIN.”

The complaint alleged that Canning “conveyed racial and/or political bias” and “failed to act in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.”

Canning agreed never to hold judicial office again. He had been a justice in the town near the Canadian border since 2018.

Having a legal background is not required for town judges in New York State. Canning told the New York Times he delivers bread for a living.

Though the image quoted a Trump campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again,” Canning, 29, said he is a registered Democrat and he told the Times he did not consider its racial connotations.

“I’m not a racist guy,” he added. “I see it as pro-death penalty, pro-capital punishment. It doesn’t need to be a noose; it could have been a gas chamber. It could have been an electric chair.”

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