Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Page 3


Retired Superior Court Judge Robert D. Mackey Dies at 74


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Retired Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert D Mackey has died.

A court source said Mackey, who was 74, died Wednesday morning. Information about services was not immediately available.

The judge, who spent the first six years of his career on the old Compton Municipal Court and the last 12 on the Superior Court, spent most of his career hearing criminal and juvenile court cases. His final assignment was hearing delinquency cases at the Inglewood Juvenile Courthouse

He was sometimes criticized by defense attorneys, who said he retained a prosecutorís mentality. He rejected any implication bias, but acknowledged, in a MetNews interview before he retired, that he strongly believed that offenders, particularly juveniles, had to assume personal responsibility for their actions.

The success of his approach, he said, was confirmed by the fact that many of those who appeared before him came back to thank him for helping get their lives straightened out.

Mackey was born in Dallas, Texas, and grew up in San Pedro. He graduated from UCLA in 1962, then began an 11 1/2 year military career.

In the Army, he served from second lieutenant to lieutenant colonel, and has been a reserve colonel since 1974. He was in service in Europe, Vietnam, and Korea as a tank commander and paratrooper, winning three Bronze Stars, three Air Medals, and two Army Commendation Medals, with the V for Valor.

He left the military for law school, working as a deputy probation officer for a time before clerking for the Orange County district attorney. He also found time to serve as managing editor of the UCLA Black Law Journal.

Graduating in 1976, he was a deputy district attorney in Orange County until 1979 and in Los Angeles County from 1980 until then-Gov. George Deukmejian appointed him to the bench in 1984. He was elevated to the Superior Court in 1990 and retired in February 2003, although he later returned to sit on assignment.

While a member of the municipal court in Compton, where he had previously been a felony trial prosecutor, he served as the courtís presiding judge in 1986, as chair of the Presiding Judges Association in 1988 and 1989, and as a member of the Judicial Council from 1987 to 1989.


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