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WashApp opposes prosecutor’s call for judge’s disqualification – ‘Racism thrives when there is hesitancy to address it’

September 14, 2023 – Spokane County Prosecutor Larry Haskell has called for Court of Appeals Div. III Judge George Fearing’s recusal after Fearing wrote an 80-page opinion in the now-overturned Vaile case, dissenting from his colleagues and stating that the case was laden with systemic racism and criticizing Spokane County law enforcement and prosecution. Fearing has now temporarily recused himself from all criminal appeals involving the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office, and has requested “other interested parties” to weigh in on the issue.

The Washington Appellate Project has responded to this call to weigh in, writing a letter to the Court of Appeals Div. III on September 12, 2023 opposing Haskell’s call for recusal, writing that it is not only unfounded, it is also a blatant effort to silence criticism of racism in the Spokane County law enforcement community.