SF Supreme Court Judge Jerome Benson to retire Jan. 20

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Jerome Benson announced Tuesday he will retire on Jan. 20 after 22 years on the bench.

Benson, 72, a former prosecutor, spent much of his judicial career presiding over criminal trials.

He was initially appointed to San Francisco Superior Court by Gov. George Deukmejian in January 1990. But after six months in office, he was defeated in an election for the post in June 1990 by Donna Hitchens, who became the nation's first elected openly lesbian judge.

Deukmejian then tapped Benson a second time in December 1990, this time appointing him to San Francisco Municipal Court. When the municipal and superior courts merged in 1998, Benson became a Superior Court judge again.

Benson said in a statement, “I leave my judicial office knowing that San Francisco enjoys an excellent trial court bench with strong and experienced judges.”

Presiding Judge Katherine Feinstein said, “Judge Benson has been a reliable mainstay at the Hall of Justice. I will miss his leadership and his stature among his peers, and the confidence he inspired in others as he dispensed justice at the Hall.”

Benson graduated from Stanford University Law School in 1964 and then worked for three years as a law clerk to several judges.

He joined the San Francisco District Attorney's Office in 1967, rising to become chief of the agency's criminal division during the last seven years before he was appointed to the bench.

The San Francisco Superior Court is made up of 52 judges. Upon Benson's retirement next month, the court will have three vacancies, which can be filled by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Bay Area NewsLocalSan FranciscoSan Francisco Superior Court

Just Posted

San Francisco Giants manager Gabe Kapler, pictured in July at Oracle Park, says team members simultaneously can be “measured and calm” and “looking to push the accelerator.” (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
How Gabe Kapler sets the tone for Giants’ success with strategy, mindset

‘There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s the hands-down manager of the year’

Artist Agnieszka Pilat, pictured with Spot the Robot Dog from Boston Robotics, has a gallery show opening at Modernism. (Courtesy Agnieszka Pilat)
Screenshots of VCs, Kanye and tech parties by the Bay

In this week’s roundup, Ben Horowitz’s surprising hip-hop knowledge and the chic tech crowd at Shack15

If he secured a full term in the Senate, Newsom would become the most powerful Californian Democrat since Phil Burton at the height of his career, or maybe ever. <ins>(Kevin Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Firefighters extinguish burning material near Lake Tahoe on Sept. 3 in the wake of the Caldor Fire; environmental scientists say the huge fire is bringing to light deficiencies in forest management. <ins>(Max Whittaker/New York Times)</ins>
Cal Fire, timber industry must face an inconvenient truth

We are logging further into the wildfire and climate crisis

Changing zoning in San Francisco neighborhoods where single family homes prevail is crucial in the effort to achieve equity. (Shutterstock)
To make SF livable, single-family zoning must be changed

Let’s move to create affordable housing for working class families

Most Read