The Honorable Sterling Johnson Jr., a Senior Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, passed away on Oct. 10 in Queens, N.Y. He was 88 years old.

The Judicial Friends Association salutes Judge Johnson, and extends its sincere condolences to his surviving family.

In 2019, Johnson was one of 22 federal judges from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York who taught Brooklyn Law School students refugee law at EDNY Day.

Johnson was best known for ordering the closing of a Guantanamo Bay detention facility, which he referred to as an “H.I.V. prison camp” for Haitian refugees, and for ruling that New York City had failed to adequately help poor residents who had AIDS.

Johnson was long involved with the National Black Prosecutors Association, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, the Presidential Drug Advisory Council, and task forces on promoting minority representation in the judiciary and gender, racial, and ethnic fairness in the courts.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Johnson received his B.A. from Brooklyn College and was a U.S. Marine for three years.

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