JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Running a campaign for the highest position in state government is a major undertaking. It requires a skilled and dedicated staff.
Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith has brought a convicted felon on board to help him get to the governor’s mansion.
“No one is excluded from taking part in this process, especially the electorate process,” the Hinds County District Attorney said referring to his campaign team which includes 42-year-old Scott Meece.
In 2006, Meece, then a private practice attorney from Louisiana, went on an armed robbery spree hitting banks across three states including Mississippi.
He was ultimately captured by the FBI and convicted of federal bank robbery and brandishing a firearm. He pleaded guilty and received a sentence of 10 years. He was released last year but still remains under federal supervision.
Today however, Meece can be found sitting at his makeshift desk at campaign headquarters in Jackson where he is working as an assistant to the director of the campaign.
“It’s the worst possible decision I ever made in my entire life. I basically aggregated about thirty plus years of good things in my life with one really stupid decision,” Meece said expressing regret over his past.
With a Juris Doctorate and PhD in Economics, Meece represents a unique labor force.
“We have over 650,000 people that are released out of custody every year in the United States or 10,000 per week. And if we don’t provide the means for them to be able to migrate into society and use their skills in an effective way, we’re setting them up for failure,” he said.
Shuler-Smith agreed. “There are people who have professional degrees, law degrees. There are people that don’t, but are so well trained and so disciplined and they really, really work very hard."
After his release from supervision in July, Meece wants to continue to work in politics.
“Once you move beyond the courtroom and now you’re actually in the department of corrections, how can we deal with those individuals so that they won’t become recidivists?" Meece asked. "If we can effectively address that issue while they’re incarcerated. I’m not a solo story.”