New York court system backs measures to protect judges from violence
The state Office of Court Administration is advocating for measures that would protect the personal information of judges and their loved ones, following the murder of a federal judge’s son at the family’s New Jersey home.
New York’s Chief Judge Janet DiFiore said Monday that the state court system is working with federal judges and state and federal law enforcement to create legislation that would shield judges’ personal information from public view.
“I want you to know that we are laser-focused on the safety and security of everyone who works in and visits our courthouses,” DiFiore said during her weekly address to the legal community.
New Jersey lawmakers are already considering a bill that would prevent anyone from posting the addresses and phone numbers of judges or prosecutors.
DiFiore’s comments on judicial safety came less than a month after a so-called “men’s rights” attorney visited the home of New Jersey Federal Judge Esther Salas and shot and killed her son. The killer also kept a photo of DiFiore in his car, OCA confirmed.
Threats against judges have increased in recent years, ABC News reported.
The U.S. Marshals Service counted nearly 4,500 threats and inappropriate communications against federal judges, prosecutors and court personnel last year, according to ABC. Women and people of color on the bench have been particularly targeted by violent threats.
DiFiore said OCA engages in “constant planning and training” to prevent violence, while re-evaluating existing protocols to identify and diffuse threats made against court personnel and judges, DiFiore said.
In addition, the agency is working with the state police to assess the “judicial threat management process,” DiFiore said.
OCA and the police have “an eye toward strengthening all of our policies and protocols in this area, including how we gather and maintain intelligence about potential threats, and how we provide protective services when necessary,” she said.
State court system officials are collaborating with federal prosecutors and district courts to prepare legislation but have not yet proposed specific bills, said OCA spokesperson Lucian Chalfen.
“While we have committed to supporting the effort, we are waiting to see its language before committing it to our legislative agenda,” Chalfen said.
Leave a Comment
Leave a Comment