View Full Version : Legislature must raise standards


Amy
06-01-2004, 07:53 PM
EDITORIAL



More than one-third of the 1,000-plus complaints filed against judges in Mississippi between 2001 and 2003 were filed against Justice Court judges.

The only state requirement to serve as a Justice Court judge is a GED.

Are the two connected?

Possibly.

Which is why the Mississippi Legislature needs to call Justice Court judges to a higher standard than the one currently on the books.

"In the 21st century, it is unthinkable that we still have judges who have the power to put people in jail and take their property, but the judges aren't required to have any legal training," said state Rep. John Reeves, who has championed efforts to raise the standard.

When judges fail to discharge their duties properly, citizens pay the price - in unfair decisions, excessive penalties and justice denied. Given the facts that Justice Court judges: 1) are the largest group of judges in Mississippi (196 statewide); and 2) account for the highest number of judicial complaints filed with the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance, it is imperative that lawmakers address this issue.

Source: Hattiesburg American http://www.hattiesburgamerican.com/news/stories/20040601/opinion/550613.html (http://65.54.184.250/cgi-bin/linkrd?_lang=EN&lah=649c35e74b16b212b9240460787c1781&lat=1086140781&hm___action=http%3a%2f%2fwww%2ehattiesburgamerican %2ecom%2fnews%2fstories%2f20040601%2fopinion%2f550 613%2ehtml)