Judge who struck down Virginia prison policy that allowed Playboy, but not some classics dies

  • Article by: Associated Press
  • Updated: July 7, 2014 - 12:15 PM

RADFORD, Va. — A federal judge who struck down a Virginia policy that allowed prisoners to look at Playboy but not read classical works of literature with explicit sexual passages has died.

U.S. District Judge James Turk died at his home in Radford on Sunday, according to De Vilbiss Funeral Home. He was 91.

Turk was a Virginia state senator from 1959 to 1972. He was appointed to the federal bench by President Richard Nixon in 1972 and never retired.

U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy said in a statement that Turk's tradition of shaking hands with defendants after their cases was a perfect manifestation of his ability to recognize the good in all people, regardless of circumstance.

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