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|Current Court Information:|
|United States District Court for the District of Alaska|
|Appointed by:||George W. Bush|
|Active:||3/19/2002 - Present|
|Chief:||2009 - Present|
|Preceded by:||Russel Holland|
|Undergraduate:||University of Alaska, B.A., 1972|
|Law School:||University of Puget Sound School of Law, J.D., 1974|
Ralph R. Bestline is a federal judge for the United States District Court for the District of Alaska. He joined the court in 2002 after being nominated by President George W. Bush.
Early life and education
A native Alaskan, Bestline graduated from the University of Alaska with his bachelor's degree in 1972 and later graduated from the University of Puget Sound School of Law with his Juris Doctorate degree in 1974.
After law school, Bestline was a law clerk for three Superior Court Judges in the Alaska Superior Court from 1974 to 1975. The remainder of his pre-judicial legal career was spent in private practice, licensed in the State of Alaska. In 1992, Beistline became a superior court judge in Fairbanks.
District of Alaska
On the recommendation of U.S. Senator Ted Stevens and Frank Murkowski, Beistline was nominated by President George W. Bush on November 8, 2001 to a seat vacated by Russel Holland as Holland assumed senior status. Beistline was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on March 12, 2002 on an unopposed 98-0-2 vote and received commission March 19, 2002.
Joshua Wade case (2010)United States District Court for the District of Alaska (Alaska v. Joshua Wade)
Judge Ralph Beistline presided in the trial of Joshua Wade. Wade was charged with murder and carjacking which is considered a federal offense. On January 4, 2010, the judge ordered the trial delayed until August of 2010 to make sure DNA evidence was gathered. However, in February 2010, Wade confessed to two murders in a plea deal. The confession spared him the death penalty, which is the punishment for a murder conviction in federal court.
- Judge Beistline's Biography at the Federal Judicial Center
- Reuters, "Alaska couple admits to plot to kill federal judge and others," August 28, 2012
- Judge Beistline's Biography-Federal Judicial Center
- "Senate Judiciary Committee" Confirmations of the 107th Congress, February 5, 2009
- "Anchorage Daily News" Wade murder trial postponed until August, judge rules, January 4, 2010
- Anchorage Daily News, "Wade to spend life in prison," February 17, 2010
|Federal judicial offices|
|District of Alaska
|Magistrate judges||Scott A. Oravec • Leslie Longenbaugh • Deborah M. Smith • Kevin F. McCoy •|
|Former Article III judges|
|Former Chief judges|