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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – It’s not often the Alabama Supreme Court goes on the road to hear a case.  Wednesday, all nine justices visited Huntsville to hear a criminal appeal at the Von Braun Center Concert Hall.

The Huntsville-Madison County Bar Association brought the court here as part of an educational session for AP government students in Huntsville, Madison and Madison County Schools.

“I think a lot of people in Alabama, they go to the polls and vote for a justice or a judge and they don’t actually see how what the justice does or how they work,” said Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore.

There was a large crowd in attendance.  Students and the local law community sat downstairs, and the general public was welcome to use the balcony seating.  The goal was to bring tomorrow’s voters into the judicial system.

“When I found out that the Alabama Supreme Court [justices] were willing to travel to hear oral argument, I thought we have to have this here for our high school students,” said Mary Ena Heath, a Huntsville lawyer who helped organize the visit.

Approximately 1,200 high school seniors from public and private schools listened in.

“What you really hope is that you have gotten the students engaged to the point they may say to themselves, ‘hey, that may be something I’d be interested in doing someday,” said lawyer Clay Martin, who also helped organize the visit.

The Alabama Supreme Court hears an appeal at the Von Braun Center Hall on September 23, 2015. (Photo: Shane Hays, WHNT News 19)
The Alabama Supreme Court hears an appeal at the Von Braun Center Hall on September 23, 2015. (Photo: Shane Hays, WHNT News 19)

 

The court heard a criminal appeal of a drug crime by Gary Paul Schreiner of Mobile.  Chief Justice Moore said this was a fitting topic for the young members of the audience to hear.

“I think it made the point that drugs are bad, that drugs are taking lives and young people get involved in this by following other people,” said Chief Justice Moore.  “I think any time they see what goes on in state government, in the court system, it’s a positive influence.”

Tuesday evening, the Huntsville-Madison County Bar Association hosted a reception for the court at the newly renovated law library near the courthouse.