Bill seeks to separate Madison judicial district - - Jackson, MS

Bill seeks to separate Madison judicial district

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT

Efforts are underway to separate Madison county from the 20th judicial district.

Currently, Madison and Rankin Counties share a district attorney and judges.

Two bills which would create a singular judicial district in Madison County have been introduced by lawmakers this session.

The authors of the bill say they looked at the growth of the county, and felt that in the future their criminal and civil case load would be too much for one district attorney working in two counties.

Senator Kenny Wayne Jones says, "You also have a caseload between Madison and Rankin Counties that is increasing.  This bill was designed so we could get some leverage."

Representative Rita Martinson who also introduced a similar bill in the House says, "A much larger caseload.  The judges have to deal with and crime being what it is in the metro area, we're just looking forward ahead to being able to have somebody who can devote enough time to those cases."

Madison/Rankin Counties District Attorney Michael Guest says he has about 40 people working in his offices in two counties.  

He says he's been able to handle the current case load by shifting around resources and there is no backlog.

District Attorney Guest says, "I think it's clear the 20th judicial district needs an additional circuit judge. We have two of the hardest working judges in the state, but even with them working as hard as they do, it's often difficult at times for them to keep up with both the criminal and civil docket."

The Madison board of supervisors passed a resolution in support of separating the districts.

Aldermen in the city of Madison have passed a resolution in favor of keeping things as they are now, which is how Mayor Mary Hawkins would like to keep it.

Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler says,  "We have a fantastic DA, why would we want to change that? Look at their record.  Look at how they run the court system."

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