Alabama’s Chief Justice Chuck Malone has announced that he will seek a full six-year term in office. The new Chief Justice, who served as a Circuit Court judge in Tuscaloosa from 2000 until he became Chief of Staff for Gov. Robert Bentley in January of this year, will run in the 2012 election. A top priority for the Chief Justice in his new role will be addressing the finances of a judicial system badly hurt by state budget cuts. Chief Justice Malone said in a statement:
Many of the challenges we face in the judicial system can be resolved with a fiscally conservative budgetary approach. We can cut unnecessary expenses and budget conservatively without sacrificing justice.
The Chief Justice made a major announcement that was good news for Alabama’s court system. He said a full slate of jury-trial weeks will be reinstated statewide. In May, Sue Bell Cobb, the former Chief Justice, canceled about half of the weeks set aside for jury trials in the state, citing several state budget cuts to the trial court system. Circuit judges and court officials across the state were greatly concerned that the reduction would slow the administration of justice, especially in criminal cases, and would hurt those who had civil claims awaiting trial.
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