A Message to Future Judges: Don’t Play Video Games with Felons


The last video game I played with any kind of verve, regularity, or excellence was Super Mario World on the Super Nintendo when I was ten (and at that, I was a golden god), so I might not be the best guy to opine on this subject, but here goes.

Recently, in West Virginia, a judge by the name of Joseph R. Carico was discovered to be in an illicit video-gaming relationship with a West Virginian felon named Jeremy Hubbard, who had appeared in his court. They were found out because one night, Carico plowed into a tree while driving Hubbard home from a late-night Halo session. Carico has now vanished from his seat on the circuit court, which can only point to a suspension of some kind, or a deep, all-encompassing personal shame.

First, I think starting any sentence with “Recently, in West Virginia” is almost oxymoronic. I picture West Virginia as a place where time stopped sometime around the setting period of Deliverance.

Second, and more important, Hubbard had repeatedly appeared in Carico’s court for various offenses. However, on the occasions Hubbard appeared in court, Carico signed multiple orders revoking his bond and jailing him for various offenses. He also sentenced Hubbard to community service on three separate occasions. Nothing there seems to indicate he was inclined to rule favorably toward Hubbard.

When Carico felt that their gaming relationship had extended too far for him to rule evenhandedly (on a drug case in late 2009), he filed a request to be removed from further proceedings with Hubbard.

Unless there is far more to this story, that would seem like the behavior of a fairly honorable judge. It’s a bizarre story, and Carico’s behavior in beginning a relationship of any kind with Hubbard can only be described as stupid, but was his behavior unethical?

Outside of no doubt massive amounts of murdering and pillaging in Grand Theft Auto, I don’t see a lack of ethics. Once he established a gaming relationship with Hubbard, he requested to not preside over further rulings with Hubbard. Thoughts? Let’s hear them in the comments section.

6 Responses

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  2. Anonymous says:

    I think that the judge was ethical in recusing himself after the gaming relationship developed. It prolly cost the system more but nothing outright unethical occured.

  3. Angelina says:

    He’s an addict. A video game addict.

  4. Incorrect says:

    Too bad the author did not bother to do any fact checking. This incident happened in VIRGINIA, not West Virginia, which makes the West Virginia/Deliverance comment pretty stupid. If you are going to attempt to make a smartass comment regarding the Appalachian culture, might want to make sure you at least know what STATE you are talking about.

    Yet another example of the decline in journalistic capabilities. This is Journalism 101–check your facts, something you completely failed to do.

  5. Dave says:


    Fair enough. Wise, Virginia apparently read like West Virginia to me.

    What’s particularly awesome about your correction, however, is that Wise, Virginia is arguable deeper in Appalachia than the majority of West Virginia. So feel free to make the w in West lower-case, and continue on.


  6. Incorrect says:

    Since I am from this area, we actually prefer to be called Southwestern Va. and yes, this area of Virginia is much deeper in the Appalachian mountains than most of West Virginia. I just find it funny that you are trying to compare us to dumb hillbillies and yet you, as a journalist, are incapable of doing a little fact checking and it took one of us “mountain folk” to catch your little mistake.

    But hey, anytime you would like to come visit this beautiful location, I’d be happy to show you around. We do have electricity and running water–even indoor bathrooms! :)

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