Today’s NY Daily News reported that the Bronx Hall of Justice was transformed into a soundstage this week as “old courthouse hands, including Gerald Sheindlin — took their shot at TV glory.” Sheindlin reclaimed the bench to shoot the pilot for “Erroneous Convictions,” a zany legal drama producers hope will hit the airwaves next year, said the Daily News.
That Gerald Sheindlin –the husband of TV’s “Judge Judy” — the infamous judge who acquitted Bronx cop Francis Livotti in the choking death of Anthony Baez in 1994.
Judge Sheindlin was so embarassed by his convoluted decision acquitting the police officer that he held a still unprecedented news conference to explain his reasoning. Here’s how the NY Times recapped it on October 10, 1996:
Judges rarely go public to defend their rulings, as Acting Justice Gerald Sheindlin did this week after acquitting a New York City police officer in the choking death of 29-year-old Anthony Baez. This media exercise could have been avoided if Justice Sheindlin’s original opinion had been clearer in explaining how he reached his decision. As it stands now, the justice’s post-trial explanations have further confused the public, undermining faith in a decision that was already difficult to follow.
Sheindlin soon hightailed it out of the Bronx. Yet the Daily News hailed his return as if it were a triumphant return to the place of his glory. The reporter quoted an actor saying that Sheindlin’s presence was key to the pilot’s authenticity.
“This is hard work,” Sheindlin, husband of “Judge Judy” star Judy Sheindlin, said after shooting numerous takes Tuesday at the courthouse which was closed for Election Day and devoid of the usual suspects.
“Rehearsals. Lines. It gets tedious. Judy usually gets it on the first try!”
Judge Judy probably got her rulings straight on the first try, too!
It is fitting that this corrupt and incompetent ex-jurist would return to a courthouse that was shoddily built by corrupt contractors.
But shame on the Daily News for heaping attention on a judge who denied the family of Anthony Baez justice. Sheindlin’s presence probably brought back agonizing memories for the Baez family who saw their son and brother placed in a fatal police choke hold and the killer exonerated by him.
Given Judge Sheindlin’s past the TV show would be more aptly titled ‘Erroneous Justice.” Better yet the pilot should fail.
If you are in agreement, leave a comment below. Email the reporter Kevin Deutsch (firstname.lastname@example.org) to tell him what you think.