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Alabama Supreme Court
Voter Guide 2006

Nonpartisan information about the Alabama Supreme Court and the
2006 general election candidates running for seats on that court

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John Henry England, Jr.
for Associate Justice, Place 2
Biographical Information
Place of Residence: Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Family: 3 children-John H. England, III., April Albright, Chris England and 2 Grandchildren-Ty and Jay Albright
Education: Juris Doctorate-University of Alabama Law School-1974
Bachelor of Science-Chemistry-Tuskegee University-1969
Occupation: Circuit Court Judge, Sixth Judicial Circuit
Employer: State of Alabama
Bar Admission(s) &
Date(s) of Admission:
November 21, 1974, Alabama State Bar
Legal & Judicial
Practice law in Tuscaloosa County for 19 Years during which time I represented a broad range of clients, including a school board, a county government a number of municipalities, individuals and corporations.  I had extensive trial experience in both civil and criminal jury and non-jury cases.  I have served on the Tuscaloosa County Circuit Court for over 11 years form 1993-1999 and 2001 to the present date.  In 1998 and 1999 I served as Presiding Judge of the Sixth Judicial Circuit in Tuscaloosa.  I served on the Alabama Supreme Court from September 1999 to January 2001.  I am currently on the Board of Directors of the Circuit Judges Association and a member of Circuit Judges Executive Committee.  I have served as a lecturer at numerous continuing education seminars for attorneys.  I currently teach a Criminal Law undergraduate course at the University of Alabama during the Spring term.
Other Experience: I served on the Tuscaloosa City Council from 1985 until 1993.  I chaired the Finance Committee from 1985 to 1989 and the Community Development Committee from 1989 to 1993.  I served on the Planning and Zoning Board for the City of Tuscaloosa.  I have served on the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees from 1998 to the present date.  I chaired the Finance Committee and was Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board from 2002 through 2005.  I also currently serve on the UAB Health System Board of Directors.  I have served on the Board of Directors of numerous organizations including the Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Salvation Army, Barnes Branch YMCA, Community Service Program of West Alabama, Appleseed, Civil Justice Foundation, A Plus and the Michael A. Figures Leadership Experience.
Honors & Awards: 1996 Graduate of Leadership Alabama, Recipient of Honorary Doctorate of Law Degree from Tuskegee University in 1999, Alpha Phi Alph Fraternity Man of the Year 1994, Inducted into the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama Civic Hall of Fame in 2003, Selected as Pillar of West Alabama by the Community Foundation of West Alabama in 2005.  Selected by University of Alabama for a Pioneer Award in 2003.
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Campaign Contact Information
Address 1: PO Box 3184
Address 2:
City: Tuscaloosa
State: Alabama
Zip Code: 35403
Voice Phone Number: (205)349-2737 & 657-0955
Fax Phone Number: (205)345-7020
Website: www.judgejohnenglandjr.com
Email Address:
(or Contact Webform Address)
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Questions & Answers:
1.  How have your training, professional experience, and interests prepared you to serve on the Alabama Supreme Court?

A primary function of the Alabama Supreme Court is to review decisions of Trial Courts in the State of Alabama.  I practiced law for 19 years trying a broad range of civil and criminal jury and non-jury trials.  During my more than 11 years as a Circuit Court Judge I presided over numerous civil and criminal cases.  It is important to have real life trial experience in the kinds of cases which the Supreme Court will be called upon to review.  Because the Alabama Supreme Court is a 9 member body which seeks to reach consensus on issues which come before it, my 8 years on the 7 member Tuscaloosa City Council gave me valuable experience in the give and take required to reach a consensus. In addition, I have served on a number of organizations which have provided me a clearer understanding of the issues which face our judicial system.  Two such experiences were my service on the Third Citizens Conference on Alabama State Courts held in 1995 which was co-chaired by retired Justice Oscar Adams and Former Governor Albert Brewer, and my service on the Alabama Judicial System Study Copmmission's Committee to Study Sentencing which was conviened in March 1998 and was chaired by Retired Judge Joe Colquitt.

2.  What do you consider to be the three most important attributes of a judge?

1.  Basic sense of fairness
2.  Good Listener
3.  Judicial temperament

3.  What is your judicial philosophy?

My basic judicial philosophy is to do my best to be fair and impartial, to provid a level playing field and treat all parties who come before me with dignity and respect, to strictly interpret the law and to listen and consider all views and to make the best decision that I can based upon the law.

4.  How do you define “judicial independence,” and how important is it to our judicial system?

Judicial independence means that a Judge has the freedom to render a decision based on the law and facts of a particular case without fear of reprisals from other branches of government.  Judicial independence is crucial to preserve the rule of law and a true democracy.

5.  What is the greatest area of need in the Alabama justice system, and how should the Supreme Court respond, if at all?

The greatest area of need in the Alabama justice system is to reform the manner in which Judges are selected.  It is my belief that Judges should be elected in nonpartisan elections and that a process be established which ensures that only the most qualified and experienced attorneys be placed on trial and appeallate bench. In our criminal justice system the greatest need is sentencing reform to provide truth in sentencing and to elimate unwarranted disparities in sentencing.  In addition, our indigent defense system needs to be reformed to contain spiraling costs while at the same time providing competent counsel for indigent defendants.  The Supreme Court should be the leader in reforming these areas of critical need.

6.  What part, if any, should public opinion play in the decision of a judge?

As would any other informed citizen a Judge should be aware of public opinion, but that public opinion should not prevent the Judge from basing his or her decision solely on the law and facts of the particular case before that Judge.

7.  In a case before the court, how should a judge handle a conflict between his/her personal beliefs and the law?

A judge should always base the decision on the law and the facts.  If a judge feels that his or her personal opinion regarding an issue will prevent him or her from basing the decision on the law and facts then the judge should recuse himself from further participation in that case.

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Neither the League of Women Voters of Alabama Education Fund nor the Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice endorses any political candidate or party. The information presented here is intended solely for the education of Alabama voters. Responses to the questionnaire are printed verbatim as submitted by the candidate.