Former Top Judge Regains Law License
Posted Oct 3, 2007 8:29 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
The former chief judge of New York’s highest court has regained his law license, 15 years after he was arrested for harassing socialite Joy Silverman.
The judge admitted he stalked Silverman and wrote her threatening letters. He says his conduct was the result of bipolar disorder.
Wachtler recently wrote an op-ed for the New York Times in which he criticized the governor’s recent veto of a bill that would have barred mentally ill prisoners from being placed in solitary confinement.
Wachtler wrote that his concern was personal. He was placed in "the box" for 40 days, supposedly for his own protection, after he was stabbed by another inmate.
“When you are in the box, you are confined for 23 hours a day, and although you are allowed one hour in the daylight, that hour is spent in an outdoor zoo-like cage where you are often taunted by other prisoners,” he wrote. “One does not have to be a trained penologist or psychiatrist to know that a mentally ill person should not be treated this way.”