Statement by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. on the Passing of Justice Sheila Abdus-Salaam

April 13, 2017

“I was deeply saddened to learn of the untimely death of Justice Sheila Abdus-Salaam, a true pioneer and leader in the justice system. In February, I had the great privilege of appearing before her in a matter being argued at the Court of Appeals. Over the course of her unparalleled, 25-year career as a jurist, first in State Supreme Court in New York County, and later in the Appellate Division, First Department, countless attorneys in my Office have argued before her.  The first black woman to be appointed to a seat on New York’s highest court, she lived up to her reputation of being smart, principled, and rigorously fair. Justice Abdus-Salaam leaves a void not only on the State’s highest bench, but in the criminal justice system as a whole. On behalf of the entire Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, I would like to express my deepest condolences to her family, friends, and colleagues.