NEW JERSEY – A new law, signed Friday by Governor Murphy and sponsored by Senator Robert Singer protects the safety and privacy of judges and judicial officers.
“This measure takes the steps necessary to obscure details about judges that could put them and their families at risk,” Singer (R-30) said. “There is so much information exchanged online, and a reckless post or an innocuous comment can, in the wrong hands, be dangerous. Enacting this law will help increase security for judges our legal system relies on.”
The bipartisan initiative was introduced in response to an incident on July 19, when a man posing as a FedEx employee went to the home of U.S. District Court Judge Esther Salas and opened fire once the door was answered, killing Judge Salas’s 20-year-old son, Daniel, and seriously injuring her husband, Mark.
The shooter was 72-year-old defense attorney who reportedly kept a list of more than a dozen other targets, including at least three more judges. He was later found dead in his car, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
“It is our imperative to protect judges from danger, and this law will close loopholes that could literally lead the bad guys to front door of those they intend to harm,” Singer said. “The attack on Judge Salas’ home exposed vulnerabilities that demanded change to prevent future assassination attempts,” Singer said.
“Daniel’s Law,” titled in memory of Judge Salas’ son, prohibits the disclosure of the home addresses of any judicial officer, law enforcement officer or prosecutor.
It also expands an existing crime concerning the disclosure of home addresses and unlisted phone numbers for active or retired law enforcement officers to also include formerly active law enforcement officers, and formerly active or retired judicial officers or prosecutors, and permit statutory civil actions for any prohibited disclosure.