Judge Defends Duty

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The judge in the trial of Richard Scrushy is defending her performance in a newspaper interview Thursday.

Federal Judge Karon Bowdre said she never wanted the case but had a duty to make sure Scrushy -- who won acquittal -- was treated fairly.

Speaking to the Birmingham News, Bowdre said it wasn't her job to make sure prosecutors had an easy time during the trial, which began in January and ended Tuesday with jurors finding Scrushy not guilty on 36 counts.

Bowdre said she was assigned the high-profile case on a random basis.

The judge admitted she was stung by repeated criticism outside the courtroom for rulings, including some that favored the defense.

In November 2003, Bowdre offered to consider motions to remove herself from the case because she knew Scrushy's daughter from riding horses.

Neither the defense nor prosecutors asked her to step aside.