Commentary: Attack on Judge a Reminder of Dangers of Job

An attack on a Texas trial judge outside her home offers a reminder of the dangers that public servants, especially judges, can face in their line of work, an Austin American-Statesman editorial blog says.

Travis County Judge Julie Kocurek was shot at and left for dead in the driveway of her home on Friday night (see Gavel Grab). Wounded in the assault, she has survived.

The editorial blog said judges shoulder both a heavy and a dangerous burden: “Our district judges preside over and help sort out the most troubled parts of humanity: the criminal, mentally ill, distraught, wounded and fearful. The decisions they make and the judgments they hand down affect the course of the lives for all who appear in their courts: the victims, the innocent, the guilty and witnesses.”

It added, “Without judges, our judicial system falls apart. Judges need to be able to do their jobs without looking over their shoulders in the courthouse and at home.”