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Federal judges, prosecutors see triple-digit increase in threats in 2023

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(NEW YORK) — Federal judges and federal prosecutors saw a triple-digit increase in threats in 2023, according to statistics released Tuesday by the U.S. Marshals Service.

In 2023, there were 457 federal judges targeted with threats and 155 federal prosecutors, the agency said.

In November, people were charged for threatening a federal judge in the Northern District of Texas in November, according to federal prosecutors.

Alice Marie Pence allegedly called a judge’s chambers in Amarillo, Texas, and threatened to kill him and Daniel Ray Garcia, who is currently serving time in state prison and sent threatening letters to a Judge in Lubbock, Texas.

Pence and Garcia have plead not guilty.

Comparatively in 2022, there were 300 federal judges targeted and 93 federal prosecutors targeted.

The U.S. Marshals have protective authority over federal judges.

In 2022, Congress passed the Daniel Anderl Judicial Security and Privacy Act, named after U.S. District Judge Esther Salas’ son who was shot and killed when a gunman showed up at their New Jersey home.

“Judges and their families should not live in fear for doing the job they are sworn to do. As a nation and as a people, we cannot accept this,” Judge Salas said in December 2022 after the bill was passed. “

This legislation will make it harder for violent individuals to find judges’ addresses and other personal information online,” she said. “By better protecting judges, the bill also helps safeguard the judicial independence guaranteed by the Constitution.”

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