While serving as chief Judge Wachtler wrote several rulings which severely limited the right of criminal defendants in New York state to use a diminished capacity defense. He stated, from the bench, that people need to take responsibility for their actions and not hide behind excuses. So, guess what defense Wachtler presented when facing extensive criminal charges for his terroristic behavior? You got it: diminished capacity.
Wachtler, who now teaches at Pace Law School, had this to say about jail: "There is nothing more demeaning, more diminishing than being in prison. They treat you like garbage." Too bad he didn't have this insight when he was sitting on the bench. It's amazing what a little jail time does for judges' views on prison reform.
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