Thursday, October 22, 2015
Michael Angelo Martone served as a judge for the 52nd District Court in Troy Michigan from 1992 – 2010. He was known locally for his “creative sentences” and nationally for his efforts to increase awareness of the dangers of underage drinking. For example, he once sentenced two teenage alcohol offenders to view an autopsy at the county morgue. He wanted them to see the effects of alcohol on the body and what could happen to them if they did not stop abusing alcohol.
A graduate of Wayne State University and the Detroit College of Law, Judge Martone also established the Courageous Decisions Program in 1993. This award-winning presentation for middle and high school students included two very effective components. First, Judge Martone conducted an actual court session at the students’ school with real cases, defendants, and sentences. Following the court session, Judge Martone discussed substance abuse and drunk driving with the students and illustrated the catastrophic results of poor choices through videos and still photos.
More than 225,000 middle and high students in 30 states participated in Courageous Decisions, which was profiled on NBC’s Today Show, MSNBC’s Today’s People, ABC’s Good Morning America, and NPR’s Todd Mundt Show. The program was also featured in numerous newspaper and magazine articles. The Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government recognized it as one of the 100 most innovative programs in the country and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) created the annual Courage First Life Savers Award in honor of Judge Martone’s Courage First Foundation. In 2006 Judge Martone was also selected as Troy’s Distinguished Citizen of the Year and Oakland County’s Q2 Award recipient.
Michael Martone retired in 2010 after losing a close bid for re-election. He passed away on August 1, 2013 at the age of 66.
Judge Michael Martone
City of Troy Proclamation to Honor Judge Michael A. Martone, December 2010
To commemorate the City of Troy’s 60th Anniversary in 2015, we will publish a different story each day that highlights a person, discovery, or event that occurred locally, regionally, nationally, or even globally between 1955 and 2015 and that helped shape our lives and our community. We will try to post stories on important anniversary dates, but we also realize that dates are less critical than content and context. We will include the facts related to controversial stories, allowing our readers to form their own opinions. We invite you to read and comment on the stories. Your suggestions for topics are also welcome and can be posted on our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/TroyHistoricVillage. You can also email stories or ideas to the 365 Story Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org