Nov. 13, 2003 "Here comes the judge" right to the Virgin islands. But this time it's not a "Laugh In." Popular television host of the syndicated show "Judge Joe Brown" is coming to the territory next week to speak to students about school violence.
Sen. Emmett Hansen II heard Brown speak at a fraternity gathering last August in Detroit. "I was so impressed," Hansen said, "I felt it was important to share his experience with our children."
In light of the recent violence and gun-toting in the territory's schools, Hansen said, he thought the judge's message could be effective. Brown will address students at the territory's four high schools.
"Our children need to hear positive messages regarding their behavior and the potential consequences of their actions and choices," Hansen said Wednesday. "Sometimes a message is more effective coming from someone that you don't see every day. I believe that Judge Joe Brown has the credibility and the common sense approach which will reach our children."
Hansen has been a strong advocate for gun control: He authored the Gun Control Act of 2001. He said he approached Brown after hearing him speak. "I was simply going to get a tape of his speech, but then I decided to invite him, and he accepted right away," Hansen said.
Brown is an avid scuba diver, Hansen said, "so that was an added perk. We've squeezed a couple of dives into his schedule."
Brown, whose highly rated show has run since 1998, had a distinguished law career before his television stint. He was the first African-American prosecutor in Memphis, Tenn., and was the director of the Memphis public defender's office. During his tenure on the Memphis bench, he gained national attention when he reopened the James Earl Ray trial in the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
Brown will have a busy week with television and radio appearances in addition to his school visits. He will speak at Charlotte Amalie High School Monday at 10 a.m. and at Ivanna Eudora Kean High School at 1 p.m. He will be at Central High School on St. Croix Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. and at the St. Croix Educational Complex at 11:30 .
He will be a guest on Sam Topp's radio show on Radio One WVWI at 10 a.m. Tuesday and on Radio Latino 98 on St. Croix at 8 a.m. Thursday. Brown will appear on Amos Carty's television talk show "Talk 2" at 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, with another television appearance at 7:30 p.m. Thursday on "Topics" at WTJX's St. Croix studio.
And, in between all that, he will help serve at Hansen's annual Thanksgiving feast for the elderly and homeless on St. Croix, by which time he should be ready for a good meal.
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