Judge Greg Mathis: I believe Trayvon ‘was stalked and murdered’ and the justice system fails black men
A show that hopes to draw an impact
As for his television show, Mathis said he actively aims to restore faith in the justice system by hearing cases which provide insights into the everyday lives of both the program’s participants and its viewers.
One of the new episodes highlights the story of one man who says Mathis inspired him to leave the streets and pursue a master’s degree.
“What I enjoy most is meeting the folks who tell me how the help changed their lives, that’s the most fulfilling part of what I do is hearing how I made a difference,” Mathis said.
At its core, Mathis said his show helps to expose some of the challenges many still face in the community by addressing small claims cases that often stem from individuals who suffer from the effects of alcohol, drugs, violence and a failed education system.
“My hope is – and in many cases I’ve seen it succeed, is that those upper-class blacks, or those African-Americans who have overcome those conditions, will be touched to reach back and help because so many times we leave and we exist in a different world and forget that there’s another world there,” he said.
Through it all, Mathis said some cases are more challenging than others – and that it is particularly difficult for him to maintain his composure when he is presented with cases that involve the “most vulnerable,” which to him include children, seniors and women.
“When I hear those cases, I have to constrain and I guess sometimes restrain myself, in the court room and it kind of gets to me a little bit. Sometimes I have temperament issues in that regards but that’s the challenge there,” he admits, uttering the words through his chuckles.
Judge Mathis reflects on Judge Joe Brown, future plans
Despite the challenges, Mathis says it is “fun work” and his career falls in line with his passions to bring positive change to minority communities – but he isn’t the only one.
Other court reality judges join him in similar missions with their past and present syndicated shows including Judge Judy, Judge Hatchett and Judge Joe Brown. CBS Cancelled Judge Joe Brown’s show in March of this year, reportedly over a salary dispute.
To further Brown’s woes, a video surfaced in August appearing to show the Daytime Emmy nominee rambling about no longer being on television. Brown has never reacted to the nature of that video publicly. Still, Mathis had only positive thoughts to share of the incident.
“I really don’t focus a lot on folks flaws, however, we have a higher standard we must live by but we’re still flawed and in that instance, his flaw was drinking too much in public in my opinion. It’s just unfortunate it went viral,” he added.
Mathis’ season 15 premiere of the syndicated series did fairly well in its first week among its core demographic, women between the ages of 25-54.
With 15 seasons in 14 years, Mathis has presented a myriad of cases that have helped to establish his solid fan base — and he says that he’s not running off the air until he’s forced to.
“l think that when the viewers say they’ve had enough of me, I will resume a career in public service, which is where I started my career,” he said.
“Folks regularly ask me if I’ll run for office because they know of my passion, but that’s not necessarily what I want to do. I always tell folks when they ask me that, I tell them that I made a promise to my mother that I would never return to a life of crime – so until they clean politics up, I won’t be involved. I’ll pursue public service. “
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