Joyce Karlin

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Joyce A. Karlin
Born (1951-01-05) January 5, 1951 (age 66)
Caracas, Venezuela
Residence Manhattan Beach, California
Other names Joyce Fahey[1]
Occupation Lawyer, judge, politician

Joyce Ann Karlin[1] (born January 5, 1951) is an American lawyer, jurist, and politician. She served as a federal prosecutor and a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge.

Early life and education[edit]

Karlin was born in Caracas, Venezuela.[2] Her father was a wealthy movie studio executive who was president of Warner Bros. International.[2] During her childhood Karlin lived in several countries including Italy, Germany and Argentina.[2] Her family moved to Chicago and Karlin received a degree from Loyola University Chicago School of Law in 1974.[2]


Karlin was employed by defense attorneys in Chicago and Los Angeles.[2] She served as an assistant United States Attorney in Los Angeles. She presided over the case of former Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Agent, Darnell Garcia.[3][4]

Karlin became a Superior Court judge in 1991 and that year presided over the controversial voluntary manslaughter case involving the Death of Latasha Harlins.[5] Karlin's "light sentencing"[5] was met with outrage and protest from the African American community and was a catalyst for the LA riots.[6][7][8][9] The Los Angeles County District Attorney issued a "blanket affidavit policy", that disallowed Karlin from judging felony cases "involving violent crimes."[1][2] In 1992, an effort to recall Karlin failed when she prevailed in the election primary.[1] Karlin was elected in spring 1992 to California's Superior Court. She received 51% of the vote, defeating four other candidates.

In 1997 Karlin retired from her position as a judge.[1] She was later elected a member of the Manhattan Beach, California city council[10] for eight years and in 2002 served a rotation as mayor, per the system used for Manhattan Beach.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Grace, Roger M. (2007-09-14). "Commissioner Jones, Former Judge Karlin Draw Administrative Bar Suspensions". Metropolitan News-Enterprise. Retrieved 2016-07-30. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Stolberg, Sheryl (Dec 9, 1991). "Associates Call Judge Karlin Open-Minded, Independent : Courts: Friends say she carefully deliberated the case of Soon Ja Du and that she stands firm in wake of criticism". LA Times. Retrieved October 10, 2013. 
  3. ^ Soble, Ronald L. (1990-11-21). "Corruption Trial Begins for Ex-Drug Agent Law enforcement: The former officer went on a five-year crime spree, stealing money and narcotics, prosecutors say.". Retrieved 2016-07-30. 
  4. ^ (March 17, 1987) [1] Modesto Bee[dead link]
  5. ^ a b Tobar, Hector (1997-02-11). "Judge Who Gave Probation in '91 Killing Quits; Courts: Joyce Karlin was assailed for giving light sentence to a Korean-born grocer who killed a black girl over a bottle of orange juice. She cites family reasons for leaving bench.". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2016-07-30. 
  6. ^ Romero, Dennis (2013-07-10). "How a $1.79 Bottle of Orange Juice Helped Spark the L.A. Riots". L.A. Weekly. Retrieved 2016-06-15. 
  7. ^ "Judge Faces Protests In Grocer Case". Daily News of Los Angeles. 1991-11-20. Retrieved 2016-07-30. 
  8. ^ Stewart, Sally Ann (1991-11-26). "Blacks, Koreans in L.A. try to ease tension". USA Today. Retrieved 2016-07-30. 
  9. ^ "Protesters Ordered to Keep Clear of Karlin Home - Los Angeles Times". 1992-01-03. Retrieved 2013-10-12. 
  10. ^ The Beach Reporter, July 30, 2008

External links[edit]