Four judges reappointed to Jackson Municipal Court posts

Jackson Police Department
Jackson Police Department(WLBT)
Published: Jan. 25, 2022 at 10:03 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - If you’ve ever challenged a traffic ticket in the capital city, you’ll likely be familiar with at least one of the four people recently reappointed to the municipal court bench in Jackson.

Tuesday, the council reappointed Henry Clay, June Hardwick, Jeffrey Reynolds and Taurean Buchanan as judges with the Jackson Municipal Court.

Municipal courts handle misdemeanor offenses, cases involving city ordinances and city traffic violations, according to the State of Mississippi Judiciary’s website. The courts also conduct initial appearances in felony cases, set initial bonds and schedule hearings, the website states.

“We’re the very first stop for felony offenders,” said Judge June Hardwick, speaking to the council.

Hardwick said one of her goals is making the experience for the people that appear before her as painless as possible, adding that the defendants and victims are often facing a crisis.

Council members asked the judges about their experiences on the bench and what could to be done to improve the courts.

Judge Clay, who has been with the court for 27 years, said he would like cases to move more quickly through the system.

He said several factors contribute to delays, such as backlogs at the Mississippi State Crime Lab and the time it takes for evidence to go from the Jackson Police Department to the District Attorney’s Office.

“It’s a number of factors,” he said. “It just takes time.”

Judge Reynolds, meanwhile, touted the municipal court’s role taking guns and violent criminals off the street.

“One of the things we make a big priority of is getting guns off the street. There’s a charge of possession of marijuana with a handgun. What the prosecutor advocates and I approve is confiscation of the gun as part of a plea deal,” he said. “That’s one less gun on the street.”

All judges were confirmed on unanimous votes.

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