Barksdale takes over as new ADAPublished 5:12pm Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Even though he may be new to the Franklin County District Attorney’s office, Jeff Barksdale is no stranger to the county’s criminal justice system.
Barksdale has been practicing law in Franklin County since shortly after his graduation from the University of Alabama School of Law in 2006.
He said law is something he always considered as a potential career because he believed it was something he was well-suited for.
After practicing as a local defense attorney for several years, Barksdale was recently appointed as Franklin’s County’s new assistant district attorney following the retirement of assistant DA Doug Evans on Jan. 31.
“Having defended clients who were prosecuted by Mr. Evans for many years, I can attest that he was a true asset to this county,” Barksdale said.
“Doug brought a lot of experience and determination to the position, so I was honored to be offered his job.”
Having served on the flip side of the law, Barksdale said he thought there might be a few challenges making the switch from defense to prosecution, but he said the transition has been fairly smooth.
“Prosecution certainly requires a different mind-set from defense work, but at the end of the day, you share a similar goal – to seek justice for those whom you represent,” Barksdale said.
“Our criminal justice system is an adversarial one and it requires that both sides use their best efforts.”
Barksdale is a life-long resident of Franklin County, and he said he is looking forward to continuing to help people in his new capacity as assistant DA.
“Law in general is a profession that allows you the opportunity to make a real difference in a person’s life, and I think that this is especially true as a prosecutor,” he said.
“I look forward to both providing a voice for the victims of crime and to helping defendants with drug addictions or other afflictions receive the help and treatment they may need.
“I’m also looking forward to the opportunity to work closer with our law enforcement. There are many hard working officers in this county and I hope that I can be of assistance to them.”
Barksdale, who holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Alabama, said he also hopes to utilize those skills as well in his new capacity.
“I would like to eventually use my technical background to help streamline the operation of the office and the workflow of cases from arrest or indictment to settlement or trial,” he said.
In the meantime, Barksdale said he has enjoyed his first two weeks as the new assistant DA and is looking forward to working for the people of Franklin County.
“Joey and all the staff of the office of the District Attorney have been very welcoming and helpful as I have made the move from private practice to public service,” he said.
“I deeply appreciate all of the support and business I have received over the years from the people of this area, and I look forward to continuing to serve the citizens as assistant DA of Franklin County.”