Changes in judicial districts may be coming from state legislature

Published 4:07 pm Wednesday, April 3, 2024

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NATCHEZ — The Mississippi Legislature is considering voting this session to redistrict the state’s judiciary, but only today has a plan come forward for doing so.

And that plan, presented by state Sen. Brice Wiggins of Gulfport, and known as House Bill 722, would lump Adams County in with a district that includes Clairborne, Jefferson, Wilkinson, Amite, Pike, and Walthall counties and take Franklin County from the district.

Currently, the Sixth Circuit District includes only four countries, Franklin, Adams, Wilkinson, and Amite counties.

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Before the redistricting plan was released, Sixth Circuit District Attorney Tim Cotton spoke to the Adams County Board of Supervisors on Monday, asking for them to pass a resolution asking the state’s legislature to not vote to change judicial districts until one or more plans were presented and all involved had time to study them.

Supervisors passed that resolution unanimously.

“At this point, it is premature for me to reflect on this plan that has been presented today,” Cotton said Wednesday afternoon. “I want to consider the action of the State House after this is reviewed by both chambers of the legislature. Right now, it is premature for me to make a statement on it.”

Cotton said the two of the most important factors legislators are considering when redistricting is population and the number of dispositions of cases.

“It’s hard in the last four years with the pandemic and other factors to have an accurate reflection of what those numbers really are,” he said.

Cotton and his team took office in January and have disposed of about 100 cases in the first three months. That is approximately the number of cases that were disposed of in a year in the previous four years.