GEOFFREY GAULKIN

Former Hudson County prosecutor and judge

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GEOFFREY GAULKIN

Private funeral services have been held for Geoffrey Gaulkin, 85. He died on Aug. 24 at his home in Kennebunk, Maine following a long illness. His wife of 63 years was by his side. Judge Gaulkin was Hudson County Prosecutor from 1970 to 1973 and became a Superior Court judge in Jersey City in 1973. He was assigned to the court’s Appellate Division in 1981 where he served until his retirement in 1995. As prosecutor, he developed the first countywide pretrial diversion program in New Jersey that gave first offenders and defendants accused of nonviolent crimes the opportunity for rehabilitative services as an alternative to prosecution, which program later became mandatory throughout the state. In 2009, he was recalled by the New Jersey Supreme Court as Special Master to review three decades of eyewitness identification procedures used by law enforcement and to issue recommendations. His work resulted in significant reforms to the rules governing eyewitness testimony in New Jersey and informed similar reviews across the United States to prevent wrongful convictions on the basis of unreliable witness testimony. Mr. Gaulkin was born in Newark in 1935. He was a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He met his wife, the former Ellen Robb, at Grover Cleveland High School in Caldwell when they were 16 years old. They were married in 1957 and moved to Weehawken where they raised their family and lived in view of the New York City skyline until relocating to Maine in 2017. He loved relaxing with a cigar and listening to opera. His many years as a judge came through in his inquisitiveness and knack for asking incisive questions of whoever he met. He will be remembered for his deep sense of curiosity and his warm sense of humor. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his daughter Kati Gaulkin and son-in-law David Allen of Kennebunk, Maine; daughter-in-law, Terri Gaulkin Stevens of Kennebunk, Maine; three grandchildren, Sophie, Alex and Ava Gaulkin; and a brother, Charles Gaulkin, of Oyster Bay, New York. He was predeceased by his son, Zachary Gaulkin, in 2003. The family requests those who wish to express sympathy to consider making a donation to Legal Services of New Jersey (lsnj.org).

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