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Two Prominent Alachua County Judges Step Down
Two prominent judges are stepping down from the bench.
Judge Stan Morris and Judge Frederick Smith have tried numerous community-shaping cases. The two longtime judges in the Eighth Judicial Circuit said they have both been on the bench since the 1980s, and it's time to retire.
Smith and Morris were honored with a goodbye party. Colleagues said they are saying goodbye to two people who've had a major impact on the community.
Morris was the judge during the trial of Danny Rolling, who killed five Gainesville students in 1990. Morris sentenced Rolling to death, and says he felt like all eyes were on him during the trial.
"Part of the issue in the Rolling case was because I knew so many people would be watching, both state and national and international," Morris said. "You have to do the right thing, and you have to do a good job."
Smith said one of the most memorable times in his career was implementing drug court, which is a treatment program for non-violent drug offenders.
"It gave me real hope that with the right sort of treatment and encouragment, that people have ability within themselves to overcome almost any obstacle," Smith said.
And as judges, they have overcome many obstacles. They say they're grateful for each experience.
Both Morris and Smith said they want to continue working as senior judges and teach law at UF.
Governor Charlie Crist appointed Alachua County judges Victor Hulslander and Mary Day Coker to fill the two seats on the bench.
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