Federal Judge William E. Smith defends his buddy Judge Jack McConnell in a Jan. 11 Commentary piece (“Editorial inappropriately criticized sentence”). It appears that Judge Smith, instead of sitting on the bench, should follow what appears to have been his true calling in life: makeup artist. Judge Smith's comments in defense of his bench mate were worthy of an Oscar nomination in the category of "putting lipstick on a pig."

His defense of the head-scratching verdict McConnell rendered in an embezzlement case only recalls the phrase "birds of a feather." I guess there is a certain class of people who every now and then decide the "great unwashed" need a quick lecture from them on the topic of "We know what's good for you and here's why."

Judge Smith's compadre erred. All his smoke-and-mirrors about "Obama judges" and adhering to federal guidelines are nothing more than a bunch of paragraphs assembled out of whole cloth. In plain and simple words, his friend made a disgraceful mistake. He should either stay silent or admit a mistake has been made.

There is no shame in either, but the words in his article only lead a great many of us to wonder: what's going on here?

Charles Sinel, Pawtucket