ABA Journal


Criminal Justice

Judge is hospitalized after attack outside courthouse

Sep 4, 2013, 12:24 pm CDT


I'm a defense attorney, like so many of you. We stand between people and "the system." But this kind of thing is way past intolerable and really irritating at the individual or personal level: it's an attack upon that same system and one of its caretakers/administrators (a judicial officer).

It's disgusting and infuriating, regardless of which side of the courtroom you occupy.

At the same time that I truly hope that the village judge does well and recovers, I also hope, strongly, that there was a well-placed video camera, and/or somebody with the guts/moxie/chutzpah/stones to give up the person or people who slithered out of the dark to do it.

Of course, they'll deserve a fair trial . . .

By Douglas L. WIlliams on 2013 09 04, 3:26 pm CDT

Caligula , Nero , Freisler and Ford were not as fortunate .

By Docile Jim Brady – Columbus OH 43209 on 2013 09 05, 4:10 am CDT

I'd investigate all conservatives living locally. Rush Limbaugh listeners are the types that would attack judges for no reason other than hating judges in general.

By Steve on 2013 09 06, 12:02 pm CDT

There is a difference between "choke" and "strangle"

By Language police on 2013 09 06, 12:37 pm CDT

Not to condone what the attackers did, but before everybody jumps to the conclusion that this was an act directed against either the judge in his capacity as a judge, or against the legal system in general, has it occurred to anybody that these hooligans just thought they could beat up on some guy who they saw coming out of the courthouse at night? Again, I am not attempting to apologize for their actions. But how likely is it that the judge was wearing his robe as he locked up and left the courthouse? Perhaps they did know the identity of their victim. But w/o more information, it seems premature to say that the judge was attacked because of who he was.

By David on 2013 09 06, 2:21 pm CDT

This attack may have been related to his work, but maybe not. Village judges in NY for many years and maybe still today, were not required to be lawyers. I appeared in front of one eons ago who I know was a farmer and hadn't been to college. But that's not really a problem unless the person ignores the law or is truly incomptent. The other (possible) problem is that for eons, many village judges were criminals themselves. Bribes and other graft were rampant as was totally unethical and illegal behavior cloaked in the judgeship. The NYT had a great article about this a few years back. This guy may have been totally innocent or may have been the victim of payback. Not saying it's right, just saying.

By Tim on 2013 09 06, 3:59 pm CDT

My prayers go out to the judge.
Whoever thought that this was a legitimate way of putting Waterloo on the map really needs to be hunted down.

By Tom Youngjohn on 2013 09 06, 11:24 pm CDT

Comment removed by moderator.

By jim on 2013 09 07, 5:59 am CDT

3 --> Add to that list the people who would threaten the parents of a defendant who was acquitted as well as those who think those threats are justified.

By SME on 2013 09 09, 2:02 pm CDT

It matters not whether the attackers knew the judge, had been before him that evening (or previously), or were connected to the parties involved in the arraignment just completed. This kind of wanton attack upon a government official (who else would be coming out the courthouse in the middle of the night?) cannot and should not be tolerated.

I began my career as an Assistant DA in 1989 and was shot at several times while in that service. I can tell you that it is NOT an experience I recommend to anyone else. I also know a colleague in my county who heard a small claims matter, after which the two litigants had an argument at the back of the room and one shot at the other in the direction of the bench, narrowly missing the Judge (as in he parts his hair differently now).

And for what? To be subject to the endless derision and ridicule of the public, the constant pressure to cave on one's ethics, and the seemingly ever increasing unfunded mandates of the OCA and the UCS, often for less than $20,000 per year? I took the job to help people - it is my primary goal as I adminsiter fair and impartial justice in my court. But when I tell others about the rigors of the job, they often wonder why anyone - lawyer or non-lawyer - wants this job for any reason other than as but one step in what will hopefully result in a full-time position on the bench.

By FELLOW NY VILLAGE MAGISTRATE on 2013 09 09, 3:11 pm CDT

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