Tuscon Newspaper

January 9, 2011 by USA Post 

Tuscon Newspaper, (AP) – Arizona Appointed Chief Justice of the Federal Government in 2006, U.S. District Judge John M. Roll has won wide acclaim for a career as a lawyer and a respected leader who had pushed to beef up bench strained the court to treat a growing number of cross-border crime related cases.

His death Saturday at the hands of the shooter apparently intended for the assassination of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Arizona, stunned those who mourned the loss of a dedicated, talented and sweet.

“I’ve never met a more sincere … impartial federal judge or any judge brilliant elsewhere in my life, “Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said.

Dupnik emotionally recounted last morning’s Roll. A typical Saturday: a trip to church, then to the store and most likely a plan to return home to help out. But before going home, he apparently stopped briefly visit Giffords at an event she held for constituents.

“Unfortunately, it was the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Dupnik.

Mark Kimball, support Giffords was the scene of shooting in a mall, told The Associated Press he believed the judge, who lived in the area, had simply disappeared from the Safeway where shooting took place at the store. Five others died in the attack and several others were wounded, including Giffords.

Kimball said Giffords had worked with the judge in the past to line funding to build a new courthouse in Yuma.

President George HW Bush appointed roll, 63, to the federal judiciary in 1991. Roll already served as a Judge of State and as a judge of the Intermediate Court of Appeals of Arizona. He previously worked as a county prosecutor.

Appointed Chief Justice of Arizona in 2006, Roll pushed more judges placed on the bench of the court as border violence has inflated workload of the district.

“Judge Roll was a highly respected jurist, a strong and capable leader of his court, and a kind, sincere and courteous gentleman,” said Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the federal circuit includes Arizona. “He worked tirelessly to improve the delivery of justice to the people of Arizona.”

U.S. Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., Says he recommended Roll federally appointed.

“Words are inadequate to express such a profound loss to his family, friends, states and countries, but it should be noted that a man of great qualities and character was hit today,” McCain said.

Chief Justice John Roberts said in Washington that the murder of Roll was a terrible loss for the judiciary. The judge in Arizona and has served the nation selflessly and with great distinction, Mr Roberts.

Bishop Gerald Kicanas of the Roman Catholic Church Tucson Diosese said Roll was an active parishioner. “He lived his faith as a servant of our nation for the cause of justice,” said Kicanas.

Roll received death threats in 2009 after refusing requests from a southern Arizona rancher to dismiss a complaint filed on behalf of illegal immigrants who alleged that the farmer in detention, assault and threats, Arizona Republic reported.

“It was annoying and invasive … By its nature, it should be, and “Roll said the Phoenix newspaper in an interview in mid-2009

He said he followed the advice of the police department not to bring charges against four men identified as a threat.

As a federal judge, Roll handled a wide variety of cases.

It ruled in 2009 that federal wildlife officials used the wrong criteria when deciding to designate habitat critical against the Jaguars and develop endangered.

In the 1990s he was among several federal judges who ruled that the requirement of the Brady gun law for a record check by local constitutional amendment violates the 10th.

Roll is a Pennsylvania native who received his law degree from the University of Virginia. His wife, Maureen, three son and five grandchildren, survives him.

Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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