Retired judge hears criminal cases for free - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Retired judge hears criminal cases for free

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He said hearing criminal cases for free is his way of giving back. He said hearing criminal cases for free is his way of giving back.
MADISON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -

A retired Madison County judge is back on the bench, but this time he is working for free.

Judge Jim Smith retired in January, but he continues to hear criminal cases.

He said it is his way of giving back

While he doesn't get paid for his work, his staff needs to be paid.

On Friday, Smith asked the Madison County Commission to pay their $65,000 salary.

The commission agreed unanimously.

"The taxpayers of this county have been very kind to me. I've been in office for 34 years as a house member, senator, and a judge, and this is my way of giving back to the community," Smith said.

He said it cost about $40 a day to house an inmate.

The quicker they get through the system, the less time they have to spend in jail, and the less money the county has to pay.

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