Years ago, I received a phone call in the middle of the night from the Lieutenant of the Orange County Sheriff’s Judicial Protection Unit (JPU). A jailhouse informant told a jailer that the informant’s associate was going to murder a judge because he was Mormon. The threat was considered credible.
It is widely known among law enforcement personnel and among criminal law attorneys that I am LDS, so the Lieutenant called me. After the Lieutenant confirmed that I was LDS, he wanted to know the names of any other Mormon judges in the county. There were four LDS judges in Orange County at that time: one family law judge, two civil law judges, and me, the only criminal law judge. Since the informant and his associate were criminals, the JPU assumed that I was the primary target. However, they also wanted to alert and protect the other LDS judges as well.
The Lieutenant called me in the morning and informed me the suspect had been arrested. I asked which judge the suspect was going to kill. It wasn’t one of the four LDS judges after all. I was a criminal law judge, but he was Jewish. For some reason, the suspect thought he was Mormon.
I could picture that Jewish judge lying in a pool of blood with bullet holes in his body pleading with the murderer,
“Because you’re Mormon!”
“I’m not Mormon. I’m Jewish!”
I would feel much more satisfied if the person who murdered me did so for the right reason. I would be very upset if the person who murdered me did so because he thought I was Jewish, Muslim, or Catholic, or had some other identity than my own.