Knox County Division III Criminal Court Judge candidates explain

Knox County Division III Criminal Court Judge candidates explain their qualifications

Leland Price Leland Price
Scott Green Scott Green
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Two local attorneys are facing off in the August 7 election for the Knox County Criminal Court Judge Division III seat being vacated by the retiring Mary Beth Liebowitz.

Knox County prosecutor Leland Price faces Scott Green, a local attorney and former prosecutor for the judge seat.

6 News sat down with the two candidates to find out what qualities each candidate would bring to the bench. We asked both candidates about their backgrounds and experience, how they hope the changes in the criminal clerk’s office will impact the courtroom, and what quality they believe is most important in being a judge.

Assistant District Attorney Leland Price has been with the Knox County DA's office for 17 years. Price says he has extensive knowledge of the law and has handled numerous prosecutions ranging from shoplifting to death penalty cases. The parents of murder victims Channon Christian and Chris Newsom support Price in his campaign ads.

“I'm very honored to have their support in this campaign. I think this means a lot to the people of Knox County to see that the Christians and Newsoms have gotten to know me personally, and trust me, and think that I could do a good job as a judge,” said Price.

Web Extra: Hear more from Leland Price (video)

Scott Green has practiced law in East Tennessee for almost 27 years. He's worked on both sides of the courtroom, both prosecuting and defending cases. He says in Knox County he's prosecuted more than 35 homicide cases.

“I was a prosecutor for 14 years and subsequent to that, have been in private practice almost 13 years,” said Green.

Web Extra: Hear more from Scott Green (video)

Price is running as a democrat in a prominently Republican county. 6 News asked how he is trying to overcome this. Price told 6 News he works to let voters know his qualifications.

“Even with the judicial race, it's not really a partisan office. It's not an office where you will be making policy. You'll be following the law and what you really want is someone who is intelligent and capable and experienced to do a good job,” said Price.

Green was appointed to represent one of the defendants in the Christian Newsom murder case. 6 News asked if he was concerned this would hurt him at the polls. Green explained he was appointed to the case, had no choice and did what he was ethically obligated to do.

“At the end of the day, somebody had to do that job, and I think my experience with that actually prepares me very well to be a judge,” said Green.

Both say they have the qualities to be the next criminal court judge.

“I intend to be a hard working judge. One that moves his docket that people know when they go in there that their case is going to be heard quickly and efficiently,” said Price.

“I treat people fairly. I treat them with respect but I think I'm firm as well,” said Green.

When asked what the candidates wanted voters to know, they both made a point to promise they would be a judge the people can be proud of, and they promised to apply the law and be fair. 

Early voting continues until Saturday August 2 with Election Day on August 7.

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