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Man jailed three times becomes youngest judge in Pennsylvania

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Hanif Johnson, jailed three times becomes youngest judge in Pennsylvania

A member of Donald Trump’s party, Democrat, Hanif Johnson, has won an election making him the youngest judge in Pennsylvania

Hanif Johnson, jailed three times becomes youngest judge in Pennsylvania
Man jailed three times becomes youngest judge in Pennsylvania

Hanif Johnson won the seat in the general election for the Dauphin County Magisterial District in Pennsylvania on Election Day last year, becoming the youngest Magisterial District Judge in the state at 27 years old.

The Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, native began his term in January and will preside over cases within the predominately black state capital.

“When you sit back, and you see Donald Trump become president, and you hear about all of these things we are being affected by, it seems like everything happens through the court system,” Johnson told HuffPost, explaining why he decided to run for the seat.

“Everybody always says, well, we complain about stuff, but we never get up and do anything. This is me getting up and doing something.”

Hanif Johnson is no stranger to the other side of the law.

He has been to jail three times and ran through the streets as a teenager before he discovered his passion: track and field.

“One day, I decided this ain’t the way I want to live my life, so I started running track. Track actually saved my life,” Johnson said, later becoming a state champion. Johnson currently coaches track and field at Harrisburg High School.

As a student at Penn State University, Johnson ran afoul of the law again, this time as a member of his fraternity, Omega Psi Phi. While he was president of the fraternity, he was charged in connection with hazing allegations. “I went to jail for two weeks, then I went to trial. Thank God I won,” Johnson recalled. “That was one of the happiest days; I just felt like my life was going to be taken from me.”

“It’s crazy because I know how it feels sitting across from that judge and that jury when you’re innocent,” he said.

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