He will be running for Post 6, Division I, which is an open seat due to the retirement of Judge Toby Prodgers, who has been a State Court judge since 1995.
The State Court hears non-felony criminal cases, all civil cases which are not under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Superior Court, and traffic cases.
“As a prosecutor, I’ve been in the arena of public service and have made the tough choices on how to best deliver justice for victims while also helping those who have made mistakes find redemption and lead lives of purpose,” Marbutt said in the press release announcing his candidacy. “This experience and my commitment to the Constitution will allow me to serve on the bench fairly, firmly, and with fidelity to the rule of law.”
Marbutt is probably best known for his work on the elder abuse issue, as chairman of the Cobb Elder Abuse Task Force (CEATF) and the head of the Elder Abuse Unit in the District Attorney’s office.
But in a phone conversation with the Courier this afternoon, he told the Courier, “I’ve only been doing the elder abuse stuff for about the past six years. But I’ve been a prosecutor for 14 to 15. So I’ve handled a wide range of conduct and in fact I began as a prosecutor in the solicitor’s office back in 2005, so I have worked and began my career in a courthouse, really, working in State Court.”
Marbutt said that among his high profile cases as a prosecutor was the criminal prosecution in the notorious Six Flags beating case, in which a young man was hospitalized in a brutal gang attack while waiting at a bus stop with his brother and a friend.
He said that while the criminal case was tried in Superior Court, the civil suit arising from the attack was handled in State Court.
Marbutt said that as the head of the DA’s office White Collar Unit, he has handled many complex cases that intersect with the business community, including racketeering cases.
“In State Court there’s a natural synergy between criminal and civil,” he said. “I’d say that roughly half the stuff that a Division 1 judge would do is civil practice, and half of his work is going to be criminal work. A lot of the Fourth Amendment work happens over there, a lot of the heavy lifting and motions practice for criminal cases is going to be there.”
“I believe I’m uniquely suited and qualified to do the work that State Court entails, because of my wide breadth of experience throughout my career,” he said.
Marbutt is also an adjunct faculty member at the Emory University School of Law, where his areas of expertise are listed as “Criminal Prosecution, Elder Abuse, White Collar, Public Integrity.”
The election for the non-partisan State Court seat will be held May 19, 2020.