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Stephen Wexler; Ghostbusters II


Stephen Wexler (also known as The Judge, Judge Wexler and The Hammer)[1] is a judge who famously presided over the case involving the Ghostbusters.

History

Primary Canon History

Nunzio Scoleri and Tony Scoleri, better known as the Scoleri Brothers, were convicted murderers sentenced to death by electrocution by Stephen Wexler.[2] Wexler was nicknamed "The Hammer" at some point. In 1989, Wexler presided over a case involving the Ghostbusters. At the start of the trial, he stated the law does not recognize the existence of ghosts and he didn't believe in them either. He didn't believe anything about the paranormal and advised them to stick to the facts. However, after Louis Tully ended his opening remark about being turned into a Terror Dog, even Wexler was dumbfounded. Wexler quickly took a disliking to Louis and later, Peter Venkman. After Judge Wexler approved The Prosecutor's objection, he called Louis over to him and asked if he had any questions for the witness that might have some bearing on the case. Louis asked Peter. Peter told him no, and they helped them out enough already. Louis told Wexler he had no more questions. The Prosecutor asked Peter to please tell the court why it was that he and his co-defendants took it upon themselves to dig a very big hole in the middle of First Avenue, he dryly joked there were so many holes in First Avenue, they really did not think anyone would have noticed. Judge Wexler banged his gavel and warned Peter he would find him in contempt if he kept it up. Peter apologized.

Judge Wexler found the Ghostbusters guilty on all charges, ordered them to pay fines in the amount of $25,000 each and sentenced them to eighteen months in the city correctional facility at Riker's Island. The guys started to notice the sample of Psychomagnotheric Slime was reacting violently to Wexler's tirade. Wexler went into a furious diatribe and declared if he could he would have the Ghostbusters burned at the stake but his negative vibes excited the Mood Slime to the point where the ghosts of the Scoleri brothers ended up re-entering the material plane, with the intent to get revenge on the man who sentenced them to death. Judge Wexler recognized them right away. They dive bombed the Judge's bench. Wexler hopped off just in time and scooted over to Peter, Ray, Egon, and Louis under their table. Wexler identified the ghosts. Ray asked rhetorically if they were friends of his. Wexler explained he tried them for murder and sentenced them to death by electric chair. He implored the guys to do something. Egon suggested he tell them he did not believe in ghosts. The Scoleri Brothers picked up their table and threw it at the judge's bench. Wexler, Peter, Ray, Egon, and Louis ran behind the glass partition to the judge's door. Wexler pounded on the locked door in vain. He turned to Ray and grabbed him by his suit jacket. Wexler was visibly scared and shouted at him to do something. Ray calmly deferred Wexler to his attorney. Louis seized upon this opportunity. He pointed out his clients were still under a judicial restraining order, the "blue thing" he got from The Prosecutor, and if they busted the ghosts, they would be exposing themselves. Peter quipped he did not want them exposing themselves. The Prosecutor screamed. They peeked around the partition. Nunzio Scoleri carried the Prosecutor by her ankle across the courtroom. A lone woman peeked out from behind a column. Nunzio and the Prosecutor exited the courtroom. The people outside shrieked. The doors closed and electricity traveled throughout it. Judge Wexler was at the end of his rope. Peter told him he was next. Wexler caved. He rescinded the order and dismissed the case. Louis was elated they won. Wexler implored them to do something. The now free and clear Ghostbusters made short work of the Scoleri Brothers. However, when Ray fired at Tony Scoleri, the glass partition shattered and the shards rained down on Wexler's back. In the aftermath, Wexler looked at his wrecked courtroom in silence.

Secondary Canon History

Insight Editions

After the Ghostbusters captured the Scoleri Brothers, they made a request to collect further data in the form of a full physical workup. Judge Wexler declined.[3]

Trivia

  • In the Ghostbusters II August 5, 1988 draft, the Judge's actual name is not revealed.[4]
  • In the September 29, 1988 draft:
    • On page 31, the Judge asks counsel if he will make an opening statement. Peter tells Louis that's him. Louis begins but the Judge tells him he's not addressing a jury, just some people waiting for their cases. Louis thinks they are early and his case could take awhile. The Judge agrees at the rate Louis is going.
    • On page 36, Louis approaches the bench and asks the Judge for some of his water.
    • On page 37, the Judge tells Louis that was the worst presentation of a case then rules them all guilty. He thinks he ought to cite Louis for contempt and have him disbarred.
    • On page 39, the Judge tells them he had the Scoleri Brothers electrocuted at Ossining in 1948. Peter speculates they want to appeal.
  • In the November 27, 1988 draft:
    • On page 54, Rudy the Museum Guard is reading a National Enquirer featuring "Ghostbusters Save Judge."
      • In the actual scene, Rudy is reading a Star magazine featuring "Ghostbusters Save Mayor" and "Team of Venkman Stantz & Spengler in heroic deed." For unknown reasons, the second Star magazine prop with the title "Ghostbusters Save Judge" was not used in this scene.
  • In the February 27, 1989 draft, Stephen Wexler tried the Scoleri Brothers for murder in 1948 and sentenced them to death by electrocution. They were executed at Ossining Prison via the electric chair.[5]
    • Harris Yulin was 52 years old at the time of filming. If one assumes an age of 60 in 1989, this means that Judge Wexler would have been 21 years old in 1948 at the trial of the Scoleri Brothers, far too young to preside over a death penalty case.
    • On page 45, they put on their Proton Packs while the ghosts tear up chairs in search of the judge.
  • While under the defense table, Egon quotes Judge Wexler's statement that he didn't believe in ghosts from the start of the trial and advises him to tell the Scoleri Brothers that.
  • In Chapter 16: Vigo 101, on Peter's office wall in the Firehouse:
    • Row 1, Right: A New York Post spotlights Peter, Ray, and Egon's "We're back!" declaration after capturing the Scoleri Brothers. The article headline is "They're Back! Ghostbusters Save Judge."
  • In The Real Ghostbusters starring in Ghostbusters II Part 1, he is depicted as always wearing the glasses unlike the movie when he wore glasses only at the start of court case and during the parts when he read documents as a reading glasses.
  • In the novelization, by Ed Naha, the judge is named Roy Beane after real-life judge "Roy Bean".[6]

Appearances

Primary Canon Appearances


Expanded Universe

Secondary Canon Appearances


References

  1. Egon Spengler (1999). Ghostbusters II, Chapter 10: Their Day in Court (1989) (DVD ts. 27:48-27:49). Columbia Pictures. Egon Spengler says: "Yeah, they call him "The Hammer"."
  2. Stephen Wexler (1999). Ghostbusters II, Chapter 11: The Scoleri Brothers (1989) (DVD ts. 32:53-32:56). Columbia Pictures. Stephen Wexler says: "I tried them for murder! Gave them the chair!"
  3. Narrator (2016). Insight Editions- "Tobin's Spirit Guide" (2016) (Book p.18). Paragraph reads: "The most notable aspect of the incident was the powerful manner in which the slime reacted to Wexler. Despite our request to collect further data, his honor declined our offer of a full physical workup."
  4. Aykroyd, Dan & Ramis, Harold (1988). Ghostbusters II (August 5, 1988 Draft) (Script p. 32). Paragraph reads: "Venkman whispers to Stantz loud enough for the Judge to hear."
  5. Aykroyd, Dan & Ramis, Harold (1988). Ghostbusters II (February 27, 1989 Draft) (Script p. 44). "Stephen Wexler says: "I tried them for murder. They were electrocuted up at Ossining in '48."
  6. Naha, Ed (1989). Ghostbusters II, p. 57. Corgi Books, Great Britain, ISBN 0552135755. Line reads: "Everyone in the courtroom stood as Judge Roy Beane strode into the room."
  7. Peter Venkman (2014). IDW Comics- "Ghostbusters Volume 2 Issue #17" (2014) (Comic p.12). Peter says: "Were those the - what was it that judge said?"
  8. Narrator (2016). Insight Editions- "Tobin's Spirit Guide" (2016) (Book p.18). Paragraph reads: "Charged with murder, Nunzio and Tony Scoleri were sentenced to death by electric chair on the order of Judge Stephen Wexler, then new to the bench."


Gallery

Primary Canon Images

Secondary Canon Images

Behind the Scenes Images

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