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Threats against federal judges increase

May 29, 2009 at 7:11 PM

WASHINGTON, May 29 (UPI) -- Threats against U.S. judges have increased significantly in recent years, officials said.

The U.S. Marshals Service says the number of threats against federal judges and prosecutors has climbed from 500 in 2003 to 1,278 in 2008, CNN reported Friday. Officials said 2009 is expected to have an even higher number of reported threats.

"I received some threats in a case about a bear hunt that I refused to stop from animal rights activists. I also received some after I issued a Second Amendment opinion," said U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton in Washington.

In response to threats against Walton, the U.S. Marshals Service, which is responsible for the protection of federal judges, installed a surveillance system at Walton's house.

"You can't let it impede on what you do as a judge, but obviously you're concerned about your security and the security of your family, so you do take it seriously," he was quoted by CNN as saying.

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