The first African-American woman to serve on New York State’s highest court committed suicide, 65 old


It was not clear how long Judge Abdus-Salaam, who lived nearby in Harlem, had been missing. Her husband identified the body and no signs of criminality had been found. Her death appeared to be a suicide. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said in a statement on Wednesday that Judge Abdus-Salaam was a pioneer with an “unshakable moral compass.” He added after: “Justice Sheila Abdus-Salaam was a trailblazing jurist whose life in public service was in pursuit of a more fair and more just New York for all.” She was appointed to the Court of Appeals by Cuomo in 2013. Countless lawyers and judges began paying tribute to her. “She was a superb jurist and an even more superb human being. I knew her for many, many years,” Jonathan Lippman, chief judge of the state Court of Appeals from 2009 to 2015 told to the media.


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