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Chris McCool sworn in early as Court of Criminal Appeals judge

District Attorney Chris McCool, who was elected Nov. 6 to serve as a judge on the Court of Criminal Appeals, has been sworn in early to serve out the remainder of Judge Liles Burke’s term.

Burke was recently confirmed as a U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Alabama, leaving his post on the Court of Criminal Appeals vacant. McCool was the Republican nominee for the Place 2 on the Court of Criminal Appeals. He faced no opponent last week, winning the election with more than 97 percent of the vote.

“As Judge on the Court of Criminal Appeals, I want to borrow the words of scripture that my former opponent but now good friend Rich Anderson used on the campaign trail,” McCool said, quoting Leviticus 19:15, “‘Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shall not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.'”

“My pledge is to honor this command, as well as Micah 6:8, and seek only ever to do justice in each case,” McCool said. “I crave your prayers as I embark on this new adventure, and I thank you again from the bottom of my heart. May God bless this State and the United States of America.”

McCool was the longtime district attorney for three counties in West Alabama before being elected to the state’s second-highest criminal court. McCool served as the district attorney for the 24th Judicial Circuit, which includes Fayette, Lamar and Pickens counties, since July 2001.

McCool was sworn in Friday at a ceremony in Montgomery.

McCool has sworn in in Andy Hamlin, his former assistant district attorney for 12 years, to take over the duties as district attorney.

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Chip Brownlee is a former political reporter, online content manager and webmaster at the Alabama Political Reporter. He is now a reporter at The Trace, a non-profit newsroom covering guns in America.

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