New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed “Daniel’s Law” on Friday. The bill is intended to protect judges and other officials from those who would intend to cause them physical harm. It does this by restricting the publication of their home addresses or unpublished telephone numbers.
This law was named after Daniel Anderl, 20, who was shot and killed by misogynist attorney Roy Den Hollander last July. The attacker, who was disguised as a FexEx deliveryman, was targeting Anderl’s mother U.S. District Judge Esther Salas.
“This is a renewed commitment to ensure our judiciary, prosecutors, and members of law enforcement who answer the call of justice can do so without fear for their personal safety, or that of their loved ones,” Murphy said in a statement. “By shielding the home addresses and private contact information for those who serve on the bench and enforce our laws, we are demonstrating that in the face of unspeakable tragedy, New Jersey responds not with thoughts and prayers, but with concrete action.”
An example of what was changed by the bill [certain notations removed for clarity]:
- a. A person, business, or association shall not disclose on the Internet, or re-disclose or otherwise make available, the home address or unpublished home telephone number of [a law enforcement officer or] [an] any active , formerly active, or retired judicial officer, as defined by section 1 of P.L.1995, c.23 (C.47:1A-1.1), prosecutor, or law enforcement officer [,] [judge of any court of law of this State, or] [an active or retired federal, State, or municipal judicial officer, as defined by section 1 of P.L.1995, c.23 (C.47:1A-1.1), or an active or retired federal, State, county or municipal prosecutor] under circumstances in which a reasonable person would believe that providing that information would expose another to harassment or risk of harm to life or property.
Den Hollander, 72, had appeared before Salas’s court before, in which he represented a woman who wanted to register for the military draft. At the time of the shooting at Salas’s home, the lawyer reportedly had a list of at least a dozen possible targets, including several other judges. He later died by suicide, but his life had already been coming to an end: He was diagnosed in 2018 with a terminal cancer.
Salas’s husband, attorney Mark Anderl, was also shot in the July 19 attack on their home. He survived, but the judge describes his recovery as a challenge.
“Regrettably, Mark has had a medical set-back, and he’s going to need surgery in the very near future,” she told the TODAY Show on Monday. “So he is still battling those injuries, and obviously, battling the injury to his heart. So we are just day by day, taking it second by second.”
“What I’m hoping now is that we will extend these protections nationwide,” says Judge Esther Salas. She speaks to us after a law in New Jersey was passed in her son’s honor to protect the private information of public officials. pic.twitter.com/EX3vcqYxdC
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) November 23, 2020
“My husband, Mark, and I would like to thank Governor Murphy and all the men and women of the New Jersey State Legislature for enacting this trailblazing legislation,” Salas said in a statement after the passage of the New Jersey bill. “We hope this law can be a steppingstone to improving the security of my sisters and brothers who serve as federal judges throughout the country. Nobody should be forced to endure the kind of pain my family has experienced ever again.”
“Together we can work to ensure that all members of the judiciary (federal, state, and municipal courts) can perform their duties without fear of retribution or harm,” she added. “Daniel used to say, ‘Mom, I love talking with you.’ I know Daniel is listening now, and he is smiling down on us today because he knows that with this bill signing, we are doing our part to ensure that his death will not be in vain.”
[Screengrab via TODAY Show]
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