T. F. Gilroy Daly
T. F. Gilroy Daly (February 25, 1931 - July 11, 1996) was a lawyer and United States District Judge in Connecticut who, as a trial lawyer, was noted for winning the freedom of a man wrongly convicted of murder in 1976. He served as District Judge from 1977-1996.
Daly was born in Fairfield, Connecticut on February 25, 1931. He attended the prestigious Fairfield College Preparatory School and later went on and graduated from Georgetown University in 1952 before leaving for service in Korea, where he was a first lieutenant with the U.S. Army Rangers until 1954. He went on to attend Yale Law School, graduating in 1957. His great-grandfather Thomas F. Gilroy was an Irish immigrant who was mayor of New York City in the 1890s. His father, Colonel Paul Daly, was a World War I and World War II veteran who had received the Distinguished Service Cross and twice been nominated for the Medal of Honor. Daly had three brothers, Michael, Daniel and Dermot and three sisters, Madeleine Potter, Bevin Patterson and Alison Gerard. Daly's brother, Michael J. Daly, was a Medal of Honor recipient for actions during World War II.
Career as a lawyer
Daly began his law career as a private attorney in New York before being named an assistant Federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York in 1961. He returned to private practice in Connecticut from 1964 to 1977, until his nomination to the Federal bench.
As a trial lawyer, Daly gained prominence when he won freedom for Peter A. Reilly of Litchfield County, Connecticut, who had been convicted of murdering his mother. With the help of a private investigator, Daly uncovered new evidence that resulted in Reilly being cleared of the crime and released from jail.
President Jimmy Carter appointed him to the Federal bench in 1977 and he served as Chief Judge of the district from 1983 to 1988. During his tenure, he reduced a severe backlog of cases by calling on out-of-state judges to help try Connecticut cases and by winning approval for additional full-time judges.
As a judge, he presided over several high-profile trials, including the Waterbury municipal corruption case, which ended in 1992 when he sent the former Mayor Joseph J. Santopietro to Federal prison for nine years. In May 1995, in a landmark decision, he ruled that state police can be held liable for taping telephone conversations in barracks.