Judicial immunity arose because it was in the public interest to have judges who were at liberty to exercise their independent judgment about the merits of a case without fear of being mulcted for damages should an unsatisfied litigant be able to convince another tribunal that the judge acted not only mistakenly but with malice and corruption. Pierson v. Ray, supra, at 554; Bradley v. Fisher, 13 Wall., at 349, 350, n.
The decision also makes reference to 42 U.S.C. 1983, but I have not read it yet. So I may be missing something obvious. (If so, then please accept my apologies).
I'm not clear how it is the public's interest not to hold a corrupt judge accountable. In Operation Greylord the 17 judges willfully accepted bribes; it was not a matter of a "honest" mistake or false accusation.
Naively, it seems to me a holding a judge accountable for willful criminal acts provides a deterrent. (A similar argument is usually made when the state provides a death sentence and executes its citizens). Or maybe the contra-positive is more import - a judge who knows he or she is not held accountable is free be be as corrupt as they like knowing they will probably not get caught.
How is it in the public's interest not to hold a corrupt judge accountable?