A careless attempt to prosecute a small town public official by an outgoing defeated District Attorney, supported by an outgoing Alabama Secretary of State, has come to a close. The case was dismissed by a Perry County Circuit Judge on Thursday, April 6, 2023, following a motion from the State asking for the dismissal. The prosecution was handled by an attorney from the Office of the Attorney General, after the local District Attorney, a relative of the Defendant, recused himself from involvement with the case.

On its face, the entire prosecution appears to have been politically motivated, aimed at a local public official by powerful state actors who had an axe to grind with a local office holder and political figure. The court’s speedy dismissal of the case at the request of the prosecution shows that there was a stunning insufficiency of evidence to proceed against the named defendant.

Albert F. Turner Sr. is the Chairman of the Perry County Commission. In 2022 his cousin, Robert Turner Jr. soundly defeated long time Fourth Judicial Circuit District Attorney Michael Jackson. Jackson held the office since 2004. Turner defeated Michael Jackson by garnering over 54% of the circuit wide vote. Turner received 80% of the Perry County votes and also won the majority of votes in Bibb and Hale counties.

As Michael Jackson’s term wound down in January 2023 outgoing Secretary of State John Merrill joined Jackson with a press conference. Merrill and Jackson jointly announced that Albert Turner Jr. had been indicted by a Perry County Alabama Grand Jury on felony and misdemeanor counts of voter fraud relating to the 2022 primary and general elections.

The indictment alleges Turner voted multiple times during the primary election, inserting complete ballots into the tabulator at a polling location in Perry County. During the general election, Turner is accused of ballot harvesting or mailing multiple absentee ballots.

Commissioner Turner said today that there were multiple problems with this failed attempt to persecute him over political differences by his outgoing antagonists. He emphasized the wrongheaded approach by politicians in power positions when they choose to abuse their powers of office by using the justice system to bludgeon their political opponents.

Turner said that the attempt to jail him with criminal charges failed because there was no probative evidence against him in the first place. Furthermore, Jackson indicted the wrong target by carelessly indicting his 17 year old son, Albert Fitzgerald Turner Jr. with these phony charges. Turner said the attempt to prosecute him came to an end after the AG’s office conducted an investigation into the matter and failed to come up with any evidence to support the allegations leveled in the indictment.

Following the end of the case Albert F. Turner Sr. talked to the Marion Times Standard about what he termed “false and malicious prosecution for political purposes.”

Turner said “I think the essential thing that we want to express [now] is that, malicious prosecution of political individuals should not be tolerated by the public, regardless of who it is, and regardless of what their political philosophies are.”

“You know, that court is a place for criminals who have violated the law. It’s not a place to grind out your disputes with another person because you have that position. That is what we the people have to attack now, to restore public confidence in the court system and rein in renegade prosecutors who must understand that they cannot use their power for false and political prosecutions.”

“It does not matter whether it is Donald Watkins or Donald Trump, we can’t just prosecute people because you have a political agenda or perceived slight. Now it is up to the public to rally against such conduct because he [Jackson] abused the power of his office to prosecute his political enemies. “

Turner said the case against him was filed with no evidence and this is unheard of. The Attorney General’s office had to start from scratch to investigate the claim and they could not find any evidence because there was none to find. The State was handed the prosecution and found they had nothing to go on, said Turner.

Turner said that former Secretary of State Merrill tried unsuccessfully to force the throwing out of absentee ballots in Perry County after a 2018 election and was thwarted by legal action led by Turner. He also said that he is going to give both Jackson and Merrill an opportunity to stand in a court room and defend their actions in this case. He is meeting with his own lawyers to discuss possible actions he can take against his accusers.

If you pay any attention to national political events, or follow any credible news sources you should know that there has been an alarming mushrooming of attempts by high profile figures and political parties to crush their opponents with the abusive use of prosecutorial powers. When a political party or opponent abuses the powers of their high office with the persecution of a political opponent it is destroying the faith of the average citizen in our revered political and criminal justice systems.

We agree with Chairman Turner; it does not matter whether the man on the defense is Donald Trump, Donald Watkins, or Albert F. Turner Sr. when the justice system is used to punish and crush an opponent. Such tyranny is stained with darkness and evil. Justice must remain colorblind and apolitical.

As an average citizen, you could be the next victim. It is the solemn duty of our generation as everyday citizens to defend and protect the inherited liberties and rights that free men cherish. We the people, the descendants of the greatest generations, must tirelessly push back in every way and peaceful manner that we can against the darkness of political tyranny. We must commit to honor the blood that was spilled on distant battlefields to protect, defend, and pass those inalienable rights on to you.

The bitterest conflict of our generation is not being fought on the foreign soil of a faraway continent. It is being waged right now all around you, in the halls of government, in sheltered classrooms of our public schools and college campuses, in American corporations, and in your public square. Forces of evil are hard at work to destroy the fabric of our nation as you have known it during your lifetime.

We are not defenseless in the fight. Your voice and your feet are your strongest weapons in the looming battle against this pernicious tyranny and the faith of our fathers can be your shield and armor.

Stand up and speak up. Abuse of the justice system is wrong, regardless of your politics.

NOTICE TO READERS: This article contains opinions that are solely those of the author. The author’s opinions and views do not reflect the opinions of the Marion Times Standard or its parent company Bibb Community Media Inc. The author’s opinions are based on information considered reliable but neither Bibb Community Media Inc. or its affiliates warrant its accuracy and the article should not be relied upon as factual unless source quotations are included.