01-08-2011, 12:17 PM
01-09-2011, 02:01 AM
NYTimes remembers assassinated Federal Judge
Amid Shock, Recalling Judge’s Life of Service
By JOHN SCHWARTZ
Published: January 8, 2011
John M. Roll, the chief federal judge in Arizona, was fatally wounded in the attack near Tucson on Saturday that killed five others and wounded 19 people, including Representative Gabrielle Giffords.
The chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Alex Kozinski, described Judge Roll as a tireless advocate for his district: “Of all the chief judges of the circuit, I must say he was always the hardest working — always looking out for his district. He’ll be a great loss to his family, but he’ll also be a great loss to the federal judiciary.”
He said Judge Roll was a good friend who sought increased federal resources for his district, which had seen a surge in felony cases related to drugs and crime along the border with Mexico.
John McCarthy Roll was born in Pittsburgh and graduated from the University of Arizona in 1969 and the university’s law school in 1972. He is survived by his wife, Maureen, three sons and five grandchildren.
Killings of federal judges are rare. The last to be murdered in office was Judge Robert Vance, who was killed by a mail bomb at his home in Mountain Brook, Ala., in 1989.
In a statement, John G. Roberts Jr., the chief justice of the United States, said: ”We in the judiciary have suffered the terrible loss of one of our own. Judge John Roll was a wise jurist who selflessly served Arizona and the nation with great distinction.”
Former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who lives in Arizona, said she was devastated by the news. “It is a horrible event, and heartbreaking,” she said. “The judge was just wonderful.” “It sounds like something that might happen in some place like Afghanistan,” she said. “It shouldn’t happen in Tucson, Ariz., or anyplace else in the United States.”