District Attorney Michael Jackson poses alongside his family after receiving an award Friday naming him the most outstanding district attorney in the state. --submitted
District Attorney Michael Jackson poses alongside his family after receiving an award Friday naming him the most outstanding district attorney in the state. -- submitted

Association names Michael Jackson DA of the Year

Published 6:51pm Saturday, June 29, 2013

District Attorney Michael Jackson who serves Selma within the 4th Judicial Circuit was given the Alabama District Attorneys Association’s Brad Morris Award Friday; the highest honor among all prosecutors in the state.

Jackson was given the award Friday at the closing of the associatin’s conference in Orange Beach where an executive board selected Jackson as the most outstanding district attorney in the state.

“It’s definitely an achievement. I am the first African American to win the award as the statewide prosecutor of the year,” Jackson said, who is also the only African American serving as a district attorney in Alabama. “I couldn’t have done it without the support of all the citizens. I have a great staff and we have a great relationship with law enforcement.”

Chris McCool, who serves on the board that awarded Jackson and is the district attorney for the 24th Judicial Circuit, said there is a nomination process involved with selecting the recipient, and the individual that nominated Jackson caught their eye.

“He was nominated by someone in his own office, which speaks well of him as an attorney and a manager that someone in his office would think he would be deserving of the award,” McCool said.

McCool also said they looked at what a big task it was for Jackson to serve the five-county area in the 4th Circuit — the largest geographical circuit in the state that serves Dallas, Hale, Wilcox, Perry and Bibb counties.

“There are several cases he has prosecuted over the years that go above and beyond the normal call of duty,” McCool said and mentioned cases where Jackson was able to get convictions.

McCool noted cases such as the conviction of Alabama State Trooper Bernard Fowler, who killed Jimmie Lee Jackson just before the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed.

Jackson prosecuted Fowler in 2010, 55 years after a grand jury refused to indict him for the same crime.

Jackson was successful in getting Fowler prison time, seeking justice for a murder that is said to have spurred on the Voting Rights movement..

McCool said Jackson is one who is easy to work with in his experience and understands what being a district attorney is all about.

“Michael was a gentleman to deal with in every case we worked together and his whole focus was on achieving justice — and that is the epitome of what a prosecutor is all about,” McCool said. “It’s not about racking up convictions, it’s about doing the right thing in every case.”

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