On Monday during NPR’s Talk of the Nation, Neal Conan interviewed Ohio Municipal Judge Mike Cicconetti and Texas District Court Judge Sid Harle on the death threats that judges and prosecutors have received.
Cicconetti, who works in a misdemeanor court, received a death threat almost seven years ago from a couple he was scheduled to try on a tax evasion charge. Cicconetti said the couple felt that everyone was out to get them.
“I think this rings true with so many of these people who are seeking vengeance on public officials that, you know, it’s everybody’s out to get them syndrome that they have,” Cicconetti said.
Local police notified Cicconetti that the defendant was constructing a pipe bomb and planned to detonate it in the judge’s home. Cicconetti told Conan that the death threat led him to carry stun guns when sitting on the bench.
Conan’s discussion on these death threats came about after Texas District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife were found fatally shot at their residence.
San Antonio District Judge Sid Harle called the McClelland family murders “concerning and alarming.” However, almost everyone in his field has received threats at some point in time, Harle stated.
Harle said that he occasionally carries a gun, but does not bring it to the court unless “concerned about an overt threat.” He noted that judges and other legal officials need to be aware of their surroundings and report any threats to law enforcement so they can be investigated.