Onondaga Co. Court Judge Anthony Aloi reflects on his career on the bench

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - After nearly 20 years as an Onondaga County Court judge, the honorable Anthony Aloi is stepping down from the bench, forced by state statute to retire at age 70.

Aloi has delivered hundreds of sentences over his career on the bench, clarifying and concluding each case before him.

"Many times you also want to talk directly to the defendant in these cases, to send a message to them and to others that may be involved in similar conduct down the road that this is not acceptable,” Aloi said.

To look back at Aloi’s career as an Onondaga County Court Judge is like reflecting a part of our community's history the past 17 years.

"There isn't a case that doesn't go by that hasn't effected me emotionally. You're human,” Aloi said.

Some cases, he says, will stick with him forever— like that of Steven Pieper who strangled his girlfriend Jenni-Lyn Watson in late 2010. Her body found eight days later.

Maybe the last of Aloi's high profile cases was last month sentencing of 24-year-old Ryan Lawrence for killing his 21-month-old daughter Maddox and dumping her body in Onondaga creek.

While cleaning out his office, Aloi has come across some memories— most given to him—of a few of his more well known cases, like John Jamelske, the serial rapist and kidnapper who kept women in his secret dungeon.

"That's what stands out in that case is the inhumanity of man towards his fellow humans, he epitomized that inhumanity,” Aloi said.

And the death penalty sentence of cyanide wife killer Jeff Cahill.

"And the case coincidentally came back to me, the case I handled as a law clerk came back to me for sentencing because the death penalty statute was declared unconstitutional,” Aloi said.

For 17 years, Aloi has been performing the job he always aspired to do, but his labor of love draws to a close this week, though he’d rather go on.

"It's going to be difficult but the sweet part of it is I'm going to spend more time with my wife, my family, my lovely children and the grandchildren so that's the sweet part of it,” said  Aloi.

Aloi says he plans to take a few months off and then get back to work in the private sector.

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