Today, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters commented on the passing of much respected Retired Court of Common Pleas Judge Ralph Winkler, Sr.

“Judge Ralph Winkler was one of the pillars of the Hamilton County criminal justice system, serving 22 years on the bench.  His dedication to victims of crime was groundbreaking and an inspiration to me.  He was respected as a fair and impartial jurist, known for his very dry sense of humor.  He was both witty and wise.  Judge Winkler impacted not only the legal community, but everyone who ever met him.  I will miss him as a colleague as well as the years of friendship we shared.

I had many jury trials before Judge Winkler but perhaps my most memorable case was that of Joseph Paul Franklin, an avowed white supremacist who shot and killed two young African-American boys in Bond Hill.  Judge Winkler sentenced him to a well-deserved 99 years in prison after a jury found him guilty.  Franklin was later executed in Missouri for similar crimes committed there.

Judge Winkler’s legacy of civil service continues through his sons Hamilton County Probate Court Judge Ralph E. Winkler and Hamilton County Court of Appeals Judge Robert E. Winkler, who followed in their father’s footsteps.”