Re: Remembering Judge Roll

by Ed Whelan

A follow-up to the beautiful reflections on Judge John M. Roll’s life that his former law clerk Matt Bowman offered on Bench Memos last week: As Bowman explains elsewhere, the video of the Tucson shooting strongly indicates that Judge Roll risked, and gave, his life in order to protect another bystander, Ron Barber (Congresswoman Giffords’s district director). According to this Wall Street Journal article:

As the shooting starts, the video shows Judge Roll pushing another man, Rob Barber, onto the ground, [Chris] Nanos [(a sheriff’s department captain who has viewed the video)] said. “It looks to us as though he is pushing against Ron Barber to move him out of the way.” Both men fall to the ground; both are shot. The judge was shot in the back and died.

“It’s pretty evident to me that Judge Roll was a hero … if Judge Roll had not pushed Mr. Barber his wounds might have been fatal,” Mr. Nanos said. “Judge Roll’s actions are of a man trying to save another man’s life.”

Bowman sums it up:

There were many acts of heroism amidst the tragedy of the Tucson shooting.  But it does not surprise me that, like many extraordinarily virtuous Christians throughout the ages, Judge John Roll’s life of high character manifested itself in a dramatically heroic fashion in his final moments.

(At Patterico’s Pontifications, Aaron Worthing passes along the New York Times’s similar account from another sheriff’s department official.)

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