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John Garrett Penn, 75; former U.S. district judge in Washington

September 11, 2007|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

U.S. District Judge John Garrett Penn, 75, the former chief judge of the federal court in Washington, D.C., died Sunday after a long illness, a court spokesman said.

President Nixon appointed Penn to the bench of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia in 1970, and President Carter appointed him to the federal bench in 1979. He served as chief judge from 1992 to 1997 and took a reduced caseload as a senior judge in 1998.

Penn served in the U.S. Army's Judge Advocate General's Corps from 1958 to 1961. He joined the Justice Department in 1961 under President Kennedy and served in various positions there until 1970.

A native of Pittsfield, Mass., Penn graduated from the University of Massachusetts and from the Boston University School of Law.

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