(a) The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals is hereby authorized to hire three staff attorneys to assist the court in legal research and analysis, including the preparation of staff memoranda, and to perform such other duties as directed by the court. The staff attorneys shall be licensed to practice law in the State of Alabama and shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the court. The salaries of each staff attorney shall be fixed within the range of the classification of attorney II under the merit system, to be paid as other state salaries are paid. The said staff attorneys shall be subject to the Merit System Act only as to the pay plan.
(b) The Court of Criminal Appeals is hereby authorized to hire, in addition to all other clerical employees, a confidential assistant to perform the stenographic and secretarial services for the staff attorneys appointed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section. The said confidential assistant shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the court and shall be paid a salary accordingly. The confidential assistant shall be subject to the Merit System Act only as to the pay plan.