Mourning Judge Hornblass


Jerome Hornblass, who died on July 20 (“Judge Jerome Hornblass, 77,” July 27), enhanced so many lives that estimating how many is impossible.

While serving two terms as a State Supreme Court Judge, he was courageous, unafraid to try unconventional methods that stemmed from his deference to humanity.

Judge Hornblass did not pay attention to stereotypes. Instead, he courageously sought out justice with mercy despite any easy way out.

For example, he set aside a kidnapping defendant’s 15-year-to-life sentence, finding the evidence presented at trial insufficient to justify the jury’s verdict of guilty. The Court of Appeals eventually reversed the Appellate Division that had overruled Jerry and reinstated the dismissal.

The Judge’s demeanor in and out of Court remained calm, courteous, and friendly while in control at all times. Never using more than the tap of a pencil, he maintained the enthusiastic cooperation of everyone in his court. When Judge Hornblass hired Shannon Taylor to be his court attorney, they became part of a team that, outside of the courtroom, created an international not-for-profit organization for multicultural education.

Omnipresent, Judge Hornblass cared for the sick, prepared the dead for burial, cheerfully mentored and taught every level of student.

We have all suffered a terrible loss.