Inaugural Address by Attorney General Troy King:
Governor Riley, Lieutenant Governor Folsom, Senator McCain, and my fellow Alabamians, good afternoon.
Nearly three years ago, I was privileged and honored to become Alabama's Attorney General. At that time, I believed that Alabama's criminal justice system, while not perfect, adequately delivered justice to all. Today, I believe differently. I have met the victims and survivors of crime, many of whom feel betrayed, betrayed by a criminal justice system that, too often, favors the rights and well-being of those who choose to enter it, of the criminal, rather than the rights and the well-being of those they dragged there, of the victim. I have proudly stood with victims at parole hearings where we fought to protect the justice that had been so hard won for them in the courtroom. With great frustration, I have tried to explain to them a system that often frees those who enter it after they serve less than a third of their sentence and while their debt for their actions is left unpaid.
Three years ago, like thousands of my fellow Alabamians, I frequently took for granted the incredible sacrificial service of the heroes of the thin blue line. In those three short years, twelve times, I have traveled to pay my last respects to the most real and authentic heroes in our land. Twelve times, I have felt my eyes burn as they welled with tears as we buried the heroes who died keeping the rest of us safe. Twelve times, I have wondered how many in our state remember their loss or could even call one of their names.
When I assumed this office, I said that it was from the eyes of Alabama's children that I would draw my inspiration. In three short years, that inspiration has changed an entire state. We have achieved in three years, what had not been achieved in the previous dozen years - we have made Alabama a far safer place to be born and to grow up - and we have made Alabama a far more dangerous place for those who would prey on her children.
Throughout the last three years, we have fought to honor the generations who went before us, our seniors. They are the ones who, through their toil, their labor, and their love, have given us the Alabama we enjoy today. With their aging has come increased vulnerability and an increased responsibility for us to protect them as they have protected us.
It is to each of these that I dedicate this day. As I serve, it is of them that I will think each day. And, it is to them that I consecrate my work of the next four years.