Former federal judge John Carroll weighs in on Mark Fuller case

Judge Mark Fuller (right). Source: WBRC file video
Judge Mark Fuller (right). Source: WBRC file video

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Pressure is mounting for U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller to resign from the bench in Montgomery after his arrest for domestic violence.

He is avoiding prosecution through a court diversion program.

Fuller was also stripped of all his cases but still earns about $200,000 annually.

Because of the arrest both Alabama senators, Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions,  along with Congresswoman Terri Sewell want Fuller to resign immediately.

In a statement released Wednesday Sen. Sessions said, "Judge Fuller's unacceptable personal conduct violates the trust that has been placed in him. He can no longer effectively serve in his position and should step down."

Another comment was made by Sen. Shelby who said, "The American people's trust in our judicial system depends on the character and integrity of those who have the distinct honor of sitting on the bench. I believe that Judge Mark Fuller has lost the confidence of his colleagues and the people of the state of Alabama. I urge him to resign immediately."

And Congresswoman Terry Sewell released her own statement and said, "Judge Fuller has violated the public trust and should resign. As a federal judge, Judge Fuller holds a position of high authority and should be held to a higher standard of behavior."

If Fuller does not resign, Congress could impeach him.

That's something former federal judge John Carroll said could be a lengthy process.

"These are very difficult judgment calls. I mean in an otherwise exemplary life this is the only thing you've done. Does that mean you ought to lose your federal judgeship if otherwise you've been an otherwise exemplary judge in person? And I guess that's a difficult call," said Carroll.

Carroll went on to say the investigation will be presented to the Judicial Council of the 11th Circuit.

"They can decide that Judge Fuller ought to be publicly reprimanded or censured. They could recommend that he resign or they could recommend to congress that he be impeached," said Carroll.

A former federal judge himself, Carroll agreed federal judges should be held to a higher standard.

Even with Fuller's actions he said he doesn't think it diminishes judges integrity statewide.

"Ninety-nine point nine percent of federal judges are very dedicated, hard working people so no, I don't think it does," said Carroll.

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