Stephen Murrell Announces he is Running for Presiding Circuit Judge for Randolph and Howard Counties

I am honored to announce that I am running for Circuit Judge for the 14th Judicial Circuit which includes Randolph and Howard Counties. I ask for your trust, and your vote.
In my experience, going to court is frightening for most participants. The uncertainty of the judicial process increases the anxiety of an already stressful situation. The consequences, whether in a criminal case, family case, juvenile case, or other civil case can affect participants profoundly for the rest of their lives.
Judges set the tone in the courtroom by their conduct. We expect judges to treat people with the respect they deserve. We expect them to start court at the appointed time, to perform their duties without bias or prejudice, to be independent, fair and impartial. They must avoid activities that cast doubt on their capacity to act impartially. When their conduct falls below these expectations, trust in the judicial process erodes.
I became an attorney because I have a deep commitment to public and community service.
I want to work to bring more resources to Randolph and Howard County to fight addiction, while ensuring that those who manufacture, sell, and distribute drugs are punished appropriately. I want to bring civility to civil court when possible, and ensure that cases are processed timely. I want to bring fairness, impartiality, and common sense to criminal court.
I have worked in private practice, served as Prosecuting Attorney for Howard County, and currently serve as a Public Defender, defending indigent Missourians in criminal cases. I have represented criminal defendants in hundreds of cases of all types. I have served as a guardian ad litem in juvenile and family law cases. I have represented petitioners and defendants in a variety of civil cases including probate cases, dissolutions (divorce), property disputes, and landlord tenant cases.
I have served as Legislative Counsel for the Missouri Bar, and worked on legislation to secure funding for needy clients in civil cases throughout the state, sought additional funding for the Missouri Public Defender System, lobbied to pass the Uniform Trust Code, and many other issues.
Although I have a wide variety of legal experience, I have not been a lawyer my entire professional career. Before attending law school, I worked in the Missouri Department of Corrections as a Caseworker, and Functional Unit Manager at the Fulton Reception and Diagnostic Center, and the Tipton Correctional Center. I also taught GED classes to offenders in the Central Missouri Correctional Center (Church Farm), and Cremer Therapeutic Center in the evening.
I am married to Lisa (Hammons) Murrell. Married 26 years, we have two children; a son, Kellen, age 16, and a daughter, Gretta, age 13. We reside between Glasgow and Armstrong. I am a past member of the Glasgow Fire District Board of Directors, youth soccer coach in Howard County, and youth basketball coach in the Randolph County. I am an active member of St. Mary Catholic Church in Glasgow where I serve as a lector. The sixth of seven kids, I grew up in Chillicothe, Missouri, where I learned the importance of hard work, community, compassion, and family.
I am a graduate of Central Methodist College (1989), and the University of Missouri-Columbia, School of Law (2001).
Through all these experiences, I have learned that every situation, every case, every defendant, victim, and witness is unique. I will treat everyone with the respect, compassion, and courtesy they deserve. I will use common sense, listen, be impartial, and fair.
I understand that if I am elected Circuit Judge, I serve the people of Randolph and Howard Counties, and promise to never take that trust for granted. Judges serve at the will of the people. Although the judge must maintain proper decorum in the courtroom, the courtroom does not belong to the judge. The courts belong to the people.
I will work tirelessly to live up to the expectations we have for our judges. I look forward to serving you as your Circuit Judge.

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