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Home Daily News Judge and founder of nation's second full-time


A Connecticut judge who founded the nation s second full-time community court died Sunday in his Hartford home at age 76.

Judge Raymond Norko died as a result of cancer, the Associated Press reports. The Hartford Courant and the Connecticut Law Tribune also have obituaries.

Hartford s community court, which opened in 1998, was modeled on a community court that had opened five years earlier in New York City. The Hartford court handled low-level quality-of-life offenses, such as public drinking and loitering. Defendants often were ordered to perform community service that could lead to erasure of their criminal records.

In his retirement letter last year, Norko said the community service was performed in neighborhoods affected by the defendants behavior. The sentences try to connect the person with a sense of belonging and contributing to the community, he wrote.

Norko was appointed to the bench in 1985 after a career in legal services. He was appointed in 2011 to chair the state s Access to Justice Commission....