Walker announces re-election campaign

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Dallas County District Court Judge Nathaniel Walker has announced his run for re-election.

Walker, who has served as the county’s District Court judge since 1986, said he wanted to run again because he enjoys the work. &uot;People, both black and white, have asked me to run again,&uot; he said. &uot;I think, right now, that a judge with some experience is necessary.&uot;

Walker said his campaign was based on his record and performance as a judge for the past 17 years. &uot;Given the funding crisis that has resulted in personnel cut-backs throughout the state court system, experience counts and is needed more than ever.&uot;

Walker added that a mature and experienced trial court judge was essential to the orderly administration of justice.

Selma currently faces a crime problem, Walker said, and he noted that it would remain a problem until the community gets involved. &uot;You have to have community involvement to deal with crime,&uot; he added. &uot;That’s the only way Selma’s going to deal with it.&uot;

Walker pointed to grass-roots community movements in New York and Boston, which occurred in the 80s and 90s. According to Walker, the community worked together to bring 152 murders in Boston in 1990 down to 66 in 2001.

A newspaper article about the drop in crime states that many attributed the decrease in homicides to law enforcement programs such as a community policing approach and an anti-gang violence unit. Others said that community programs, which encouraged people to act as role models, helped drop the homicide rate.

According to Walker, the court system is designed to handle the consequences of crime, not prevent it. Juvenile court touches on prevention through changing someone’s behavior, but it’s not a proactive entity. &uot;It takes more than one person to address this issue of crime,&uot; Walker said.

However, Walker noted that if a juvenile comes to his court with a gun charge, he is detained until he can be adjudicated.

Dallas County’s District Court is busy, and Walker said that it could use a second judge. He said a 1996 report from the Administrative Office of Courts for the state legislature states that Dallas County needs another judge.

Walker added that he’s spoken with several judges about the county’s caseload, and they said it seems Dallas County had a big city court. &uot;It’s a busy court,&uot; he said. &uot;We need a solid, mature judge.&uot; Walker is the eldest child of the late George Nathaniel Walker and Mrs. Ruby Peterson Walker. He was born and raised in Selma and is a 1965 graduate of Hudson High School. He graduated from Alabama A&M College in 1969 and earned a masters from Union Theological Seminary in New York. In 1977 he received the Juris Doctor Degree from Fordham University Law School in New York. Walker has one daughter, Sala A. Walker, one son, Malik N. Walker, and one sister, Mary Walker Peoples. He has three grandchildren, Mecurious Nathaniel Atkinson, 8, Christian Nathaniel Walker, 2 1/2, and Jacqueline Shontae Walker, 9 months.