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DISTRICT JUDGE DIV. 1: Linda Armstrong

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By Steve Doyle

District Court Judge Linda Armstrong, on the bench since 1998, wants to serve another term.

Armstrong, who serves Shelby, Anderson and Spencer counties in Division 1 of the 53rd Judicial District, so far is unopposed for re-election in November.

In January 1998, Armstrong was appointed by Gov. Paul Patton to fulfill the unexpired term of Judge Fred Bond, who had retired. She won election that fall and has been re-elected in 2002 and 2006.

“I strive to be fair in carrying out my duties and to treat everyone with the respect they deserve in both criminal and civil cases,” Armstrong said in announcing her candidacy. “However, I would not call myself ‘easy.’ I strongly believe people should experience consequences for their actions [or inaction].

“I try to mete out justice, which can mean being firm and handing down tough consequences in some cases but can also mean being compassionate in others.”

Armstrong says she has tried to take aggressive action to deal with problems she sees.

“At least 75 to 80 percent of our criminal cases are somehow related to drug and alcohol use and abuse,” Armstrong said in a prepared statement. “I believe we need to treat the root causes of crime, especially drug and alcohol abuse, to reduce the rate of re-offending.

“Several years ago I noticed that Shelby County had no intensive outpatient treatment programs. I brought a number of treatment providers together to try to set up such a program. Eventually, the Shelby County Substance Abuse Treatment project was created.”

She is the chief judge for the 53rd Judicial Circuit and serves on the District Judges' Association Legislative Committee, which serves as a resource for the legislature and testifies before committees.

Armstrong also started in 1998 the Shelby County Teen Court program in 1998, which trains middle and high school students to act as attorneys, clerks, bailiffs and jurors in sentencing certain juveniles convicted of first or second offenses of a relatively minor nature.

Armstrong graduated from the University of Louisville law school in 1989 and joined the firm of Neal and Davis in October of that year. She served in a variety of appointed court roles during the next nine years and for seven years was the attorney for the Shelby County Board of Education.

Armstrong is a divorced mother of two and resides in Shelby County.