Thursday, October 30, 2008

Justice, Court of Criminal Appeals - Place 1

In terms of judicial experience, this one is fairly one-sided. But other factors bear some consideration and, happily, this is one instance where neither would worry me should they get elected. The candidates have pretty much split the major newspapers between them in endorsements but Clyde Jones has an advantage with law enforcement groups.

Beth Kellum (R)

As seems to be de rigeur in this election, Kellum has no experience as a judge.

She has, however, been a staff attorney for 14 years at the very court she seeks to sit on. She has extensive experience in drafting and reviewing appeals, which is primarily about researching precedent. This would give her an extensive knowledge base when approaching cases.

In a move atypical for potential jurists (who traditionally try to project impartiality), Kellum has openly acknowledged her opposition to abortion. History seems to indicate such cases would typically come through a civil court rather than criminal but you never know.

Clyde Jones (D)

Jones has nearly 30 years experience as both an attorney and judge. He served as a prosecutor and a defense attorney which is a balance I like to see. He's been on the Jefferson County circuit criminal bench for the last six and has never had a case overturned. He sits on innumerable law and judicial boards and is heavily favored by law enforcement groups (and firefighters, too) for his "tough on crime" stance.

Jones is, interestingly, one of the architects of the practice of using non-violent offenders to gather roadside trash.

Recommendation for Justice, Criminal Appeals Place 1:
Clyde Jones (D)


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