Judge Jason Witcher Comes Full Circle With Return to Rutgers Law School As Professor



ELMER – The retired and dignitary Municipal Court Judge Jason Witcher will come full circle this fall when he returns to his alma mater, Rutgers University Law School, as a professor. Here he will instruct students in a class about inequality as he also wraps up his very first book at home.

Witcher made headlines in 2022 when he charged Millville Municipal Court with discrimination against Latinos in court scheduling, which led to the New Jersey Attorney General filing a civil rights complaint against the institution.

After facing strong pushback from the local judiciary, Witcher left the bench in 2023 but has been hailed outside of those legal circles for his stance on principle.

Witcher graduated from Rutgers Law School in 2001, juggling work during the daytime and attending law school classes at night, all while supporting a family. He will teach a class on “Law and Inequality” based on what he says came about from student interest.

“I was invited as a guest lecturer for a class where students had been following the [Millville] story since its inception,” Witcher told Front Runner New Jersey. “Students were deeply engaged during the lecture and one student even ran down the stairs to catch me leaving the building to thank me for standing up and told me I was a hero to many of the students at the law school.”

Afterwards, students approached the law school’s leaders to address concerns about diversity and Witcher was asked about his interest in teaching the class by the dean.

‘One of My Greatest Honors’

“I was elated, almost to the point of tears, to have the opportunity to return to my alma mater and influence future lawyers and judges and encourage them. Always remember the core of the law and the obligation of the lawyer,” Witcher said.

“It is one of the greatest honors that has ever been bestowed upon me. Furthermore, in light of the circumstances surrounding my retirement and attacks on my credibility, being called to teach at the premier law school in the state on issues involving the very basis for my departure from the bench brings a smile of thanksgiving to my home. Rutgers University School of Law validated my credibility and demonstrated the importance of my stance against injustice.”

Merciful Justice

Witcher earlier this week announced the Sept. 19 release date of his book “Merciful Justice.”

Book cover photo courtesy of Jason Witcher

“I have never been one to hold back when I saw an opportunity to pour positive power into someone’s life, and in this writing there is a real, raw, unapologetic story,” Witcher said on Facebook. “A story honoring those who guided my ascension to the bench, saluting the many people who inspired me from behind the bench and those who stood before while on the bench that sustained my commitment to service and conviction to villains who conspired to force my exit from the bench.

“As I move towards completion of this book, many of your stories are a part of my memoirs because they are a part of my life and will be a permanent part of my legacy, because they tell the true story of MERCIFUL JUSTICE.”

Witcher said his outsider status was nothing new to him. A Willingboro native, Witcher wrote a post on Facebook on May 29 where he went into detail about standing out among other students as a Black man and father, to fight his way through the difficulties to earn his law degree, develop a law career, judgeship and now teaching the practice to future students.

Just Getting Started

“When I had to take off my judge’s robe, it looked like it was over, [but] the truth is – it is just getting started,” Witcher said in the Facebook post. “I began Rutgers believing I wasn’t smart enough, my skin was too dark, my background not prestigious, my jeans were too baggy and Timberland boot heavy.

“I didn’t always pronounce all the words well, sometimes just nodding my head not knowing what they were talking about. I didn’t seem to fit in. I didn’t have any connections, [and] didn’t know anything about the etiquette eating sugar cubes at a fancy banquet thinking they were candy, working all day, falling asleep in class at night. One professor tried to convince me to drop out.

Judge Jason Witcher is prayed for during a retirement for him in 2023. Photo courtesy of Jason Witcher

“I was flat broke, struggling to keep gas in the car, making up reasons to keep them from turning off my electric, worried my card would be declined when I tried to buy my kids diapers and keep food in the fridge.”

Witcher started law school in 1996 and finished in 2001, “beaten down, stereotyped and counted out,” but is “now a retired judge going back to Rutgers as a law school professor. God is great. Moral of the story. Don’t quit.”

Witcher, who taught young defenders at the Juvenile Justice Commission, started his legal career as an assistant prosecutor in the Salem County Prosecutor’s Office in 2002. In 2008, he went into private practice with the firm of Helmer, Conley & Kasselman in Haddon Heights.

The Judge

Two years later, he became the first Black ever appointed to a judgeship in Salem County when he was picked to serve on City of Salem Municipal Court. He would go on to perform his duty as a municipal judge in Bridgeton, Penns Grove, Carneys Point, Pennsville, and Millville.

Staying In Touch With Roots

Life Worth Living’s Corey Glenn and retired Judge Jason Witcher pose for a picture together at the Fourth Friday Juneteenth Celebration at Captain Buck Park in Millville on Friday, June 28, 2024.

He developed a reputation of staying connected with his community through various activities, from mentoring high school students, coaching youth sports, reading books to kindergarten students and speaking at a wide range of events from rehab centers to college programs.

Witcher has received honors and recognitions from U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew, the Cumberland County Commissioners, the New Jersey Legislative Black Caucus, the New Jersey Legislature and General Assembly, the New Jersey Senate, Salem City, Penns Grove Borough, Carneys Point Township and Bridgeton City councils.

Other awards came from the Camden County East NAACP, the Latino Action Committee, The Puerto Rican Action Committee, and numerous community organizations throughout South Jersey.

Witcher said he will also be named on July 15 as executive director of CASA PRAC, a nonprofit community organization that historically has been focused on Latino communities and youth. 

“My stance for the Latino community and love for service moves me into the position to revive the organization which was founded in 1978 and has been the premier organization serving those Latino communities since its inception but began to fall apart over the past few years,” Witcher explained.

He insisted that his goal will be to expand the scope to embrace all people and to serve everyone under a culturally unifying CASA along with the new slogan: “One Family, One Future.”

“The goal is to honor the organization’s Latino foundations while recognizing the problems that are present in all communities,” Witcher said.


Follow Us Today On:




Note from AC JosepH Media: If you like this story and others posted on Front Runner New Jersey.com, lend us a hand so we can keep producing articles like these for New Jersey and the world to see. Click on SUPPORT FRNJ and make a contribution that will do directly in making more stories like this available. Thank you for reading.

About Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *