Reporters hate making errors.

But what happens when an error is one that has been running for four years and has been repeated over the last 24 hours?

That’s the conundrum for the death of Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam. In the dozens of local and national articles published online, in newspapers and aired on television in the hours since her body was found in the Hudson River, she has been described as the first Muslim woman to serve on the Court of Appeals or the first Muslim judge in the U.S.

That description is not accurate. Abdus-Salaam was born Sheila Turner and while her first husband was Muslim, she never converted to Islam, according to Court of Appeals spokesman Gary Spencer.

Full stop: This, of course, does not negate her status as an important trailblazer in the state’s legal history. She was the first black woman to serve on the state’s highest court.

Spencer, the court spokesman, told me Abdus-Salaam did not mind being referred to a as a Muslim woman and never corrected it.

That being said, it’s fascinating, and a bit disturbing to me as a reporter, how this went unchecked, if only for posterity’s sake. Someday there will be a practicing Muslim serving on the Court of Appeals who should be the one to be identified and honored with the distinction.

Attempting to reverse engineer the error and find its source was not easy. The first and earliest erroneously identifying her religion was in a press release from Sen. Kevin Parker’s office.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office never identified her religion in any of its official statements.

The stories that appeared in The Daily News and The New York Times from April 2013 and May 2013 — the time between her nomination by Cuomo and her confirmation by the state Senate — do not identify her religion either. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, in a statement released on Wednesday evening, did refer to her incorrectly as the “first Muslim female judge” in the United States.

Which leaves me with this conclusion: Assumptions were made by reporters, at best given only a cursory check and then reported. And during her life she never thought it was important to correct the error, if she saw one at all.