Having gone to trial in more than 200 cases, about 50 of which have been homicide, Campbell has built a legacy that has cemented his place among top prosecutors.
Campbell, who retires this month, has spent 24 years total with the Cherokee Circuit, which includes Bartow and Gordon counties, first as assistant district attorney in 1976 and then as district attorney since 1992.
Campbell said he is proud of his service over the years and succinctly summed up his philosophy on his work ethic.
“You have a duty and it’s a sacred duty to help the public and perform to the best of your abilities,” Campbell said. “You’ve got to have a certain level of compassion and aggression mixed with objectivity. I’ve been blessed that I was able to maintain a certain level of objectivity, however, as a prosecutor, you understand that this is a calling, it’s not just a job.”
Born in Montgomery, Ala., Campbell moved to Georgia as a child and grew up in Atlanta, graduating from the former North Fulton High School in 1964.
After serving nearly two years in active duty with the Army in Vietnam, Campbell went on to graduate from the University of Georgia Law School in 1974.
He has 38 years of law practice under his belt, having also served as city attorney for Calhoun and county school board attorney for Gordon County.
Campbell said hopes to be remembered as someone who was steady and worked hard and was fair, worked well with judges and defense attorneys and assembled a great team of prosecutors.
Campbell said he hasn’t quite decided what his next steps are after retiring from the circuit.
But there is one place he won’t be.
“I’m not interested in getting back in the courtroom,” Campbell said. “I know that it will be a shock to my system, but I think I will find my way.”
The circuit’s Victim-Witness Assistance Director, Julia Richards, said Campbell has always been accessible and fair even when tough decisions had to be made.
“He is a brilliant man of integrity,” Richards said. “He will be fondly remembered in this circuit as a man who was honest, fair, and compassionate and a great steward of the county’s resources.”