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Brooklyn Judge Vapes Through Murder Case

Brooklyn Judge Vapes Through Murder Case


Over the last few years, the vapor industry has found itself in and out of the American legal court system, arguing the case for fair and common-sense regulations for the expanding industry. This time in court, however, a vape has found itself in unlikely hands: a Brooklyn judge who was seen taking stealthy rips as he presided over a high-profile murder case.

Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Vincent Del Giudice has been repeatedly seen taking routine rips of vapor out of his hand from what seems to be a cigaike or vape pen as he presided over the case of Daniel St. Hubert, the so-called “Brooklyn Ripper” who has been accused of killing two children in East New York in 2014, according to The New York Post.

The post cheekily dubs Del Giudice as “the other Brooklyn Ripper,” though this story indirectly addresses a larger question as vapor products become more popular in everyday America: how will people react to the use of vapor products in public, particularly in an institutional setting. Laws vary from state to state, but in New York using vapor devices indoors is illegal following recent changes to the Clean Indoor Air Act.

The Post

The paper reviews, in elaborate detail, the reconnaissance that reporters went through to discover that the judge was indeed using his vapor product in court.

“From the bench, Del Giudice would slyly hold his hands up to his face, as though stroking his goatee in contemplation,” wrote the Post, “but a blue light peeking out from his closed fist was a dead giveaway he was secretly using a vaporizer, photos show.”

The paper included a photo of the judge that shows the visible tip of a vape pen or cigalike, while the rest of the device is hidden by the judge’s fist. When they approached Del Giudice to question him about the device, he allegedly pocketed it and refused to comment.

The Law

First and foremost, the use of vapor products in a courtroom is in violation of an extension of the Clean Indoor Air Act, signed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2017. The rule bans the use of vapor products indoors and in any public place where smoking is likewise barred. Breaking the law is punishable by a fine up to $2,000 dollars, according to the state Health Department.

This highlights an important point: when you’re using vapor products it's important to know the latest rules and laws about where and when you can or can't take a rip off of your device. You'd expect a Supreme Court judge to know this, but it only points to further necessity for vapers to be aware of where they are and what the laws are.

Beyond New York state law, however, there have been other cases regarding the use of vapor products in municipal buildings. Two months ago, we wrote about Democratic state senator Daniel Kagan who, was “caught” using a vapor device while presiding as a member of the Senate's Judiciary Committee.

Unlike in New York, Colorado state law doesn't explicitly prohibit vaping inside the Capitol - in fact, it doesn't prohibit vaping indoors anywhere, with the exception of school facilities. Kagan also noted that he'd previously asked permission to use his device.

We're not sure where this story ultimately goes, but we've got to wonder how things would have ended up had it been anyone outside a position of power choosing to disregard the law. If those at the top are immune, might this whole treating-vaping-as-smoking thing be worth a second look?