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Thomas Francis Murphy (December 3, 1905 – October 26, 1995) was a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Thomas Francis Murphy
Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
In office
December 3, 1970 – October 26, 1995
Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
In office
July 2, 1951 – December 3, 1970
Appointed byHarry S. Truman
Preceded byHarold Medina
Succeeded byMurray Gurfein
Personal details
Born
Thomas Francis Murphy

(1905-12-03)December 3, 1905
New York City, New York
DiedOctober 26, 1995(1995-10-26) (aged 89)
Salisbury, Connecticut
Political partyDemocratic
EducationGeorgetown University (A.B.)
Fordham University School of Law (LL.B.)

Early life and educationEdit

Born on December 3, 1905, in Manhattan, New York City, New York, Murphy's grandfather was a police officer and his father chief clerk of the city's Department of Water Supply, Gas and Electricity. Murphy attended Regis High School and then received an Artium Baccalaureus degree in 1927 from Georgetown University and a Bachelor of Laws in 1930 from Fordham University School of Law. He entered private practice of law until 1942.[1][2]

CareerEdit

From 1942 to 1950, Murphy served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.[2] He became head of the criminal division in 1944 and from 1949 to 1950 served as prosecutor in the two perjury trials of Alger Hiss, winning a conviction in the second after the first ended in a hung jury.[1] Murphy served briefly as New York City Police Commissioner from September 1950 to June 1951. At the time of his appointment, the New York Times described him as "a reader of Proust as a change from law books"[3] and said that members of all political parties greeted his appointment with such unanimity as to suggest that he was "certain of continued tenure if he does the job expected of him".[4] After he resigned to become a federal judge, New York City Mayor Vincent Impellitteri said Murphy had laid the groundwork for ridding the department of corruption: "He had restored the self respect of police officers who had suffered through the greed of their corrupt comrades."[5]

Federal judicial serviceEdit

Murphy was nominated by President Harry S. Truman on June 11, 1951, to a seat on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York vacated by Judge Harold Medina.[6] He was confirmed by the United States Senate on June 29, 1951, and received his commission on July 2, 1951. He assumed senior status on December 3, 1970. His service terminated on October 26, 1995, due to his death.[2]

Notable casesEdit

Murphy presided at a jury trial that determined that the Swedish sex film I Am Curious (Yellow) was obscene. He called it "repulsive and revolting" and ordered it confiscated, but was later overruled by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.[7]

Murphy also presided at the 1958 wiretapping trial of James R. Hoffa, the president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.[8]

Murphy moved to Connecticut in 1968. Serving by designation on the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut, he presided at the trial of Vladimir Sokolov, a former Yale University instructor, who was accused of lying about his activities as a Nazi propagandist during World War II both when immigrated and when seeking United States citizenship.[9]

Personal and deathEdit

Murphy was described at the time as "a lifelong Democrat".[4] His younger brother, Johnny Murphy, had a long career in professional baseball as a pitcher with the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox and as general manager of the New York Mets.[1] Murphy died in a nursing home in Salisbury, Connecticut, on October 26, 1995.[1]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Van Gelder, Lawrence (October 31, 1995). "Thomas Murphy, Police Head And Prosecutor of Hiss, 89". New York Times. Retrieved February 17, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "Murphy, Thomas Francis - Federal Judicial Center". www.fjc.gov.
  3. ^ "Murphy Won Fame as Hiss Prosecutor" (PDF). New York Times. September 26, 1950. Retrieved February 17, 2015.
  4. ^ a b Conklin, W.R. (October 8, 1950). "Clean-Up Man" (PDF). New York Times. Retrieved February 17, 2015.
  5. ^ "Impellitteri's Televised Keynote on Record as Mayor" (PDF). New York Times. Retrieved February 17, 2015.
  6. ^ Mosow, Warren (June 12, 1951). "Truman Promotes Medina; Murphy Named a U.S. Judge, Will Quit as Police Head" (PDF). New York Times. Retrieved February 17, 2015.
  7. ^ Ranzal, Edward (November 27, 1968). "U.S. Court Clears Swedish Sex Film" (PDF). New York Times. Retrieved February 17, 2015.
  8. ^ "Hoffa and 2 Others Freed in Second Wiretap Trial" (PDF). New York Times. June 24, 1958. Retrieved February 17, 2015.
  9. ^ McFadden, Robert D. (June 3, 1986). "Federal Judge Rules Ex-Lecturer at Yale Hid his Ties to Nazis". New York Times. Retrieved February 17, 2015.

SourcesEdit