Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A recusal nightmare brewing in Hinds County?

With the announcement that Malcolm Harrison has been appointed to replace Bobby DeLaughter on the Hinds County Circuit bench, concerns are being raised that newly-minted Judge Harrison will be disqualified from presiding over many, if not most, of the criminal cases currently pending on the docket.  In his capacity as County Attorney, Judge Harrison was responsible for prosecuting most of the felony crimes charged in Hinds County during his term as county attorney.  I'd bet that most of the criminal cases currently assigned to the DeLaughter/Harrison docket will be reassigned quickly.  If not, there will likely be a flood of motions for recusal in the coming weeks.


andre said...

I suspect Judge Harrison would recuse himself if he personally handled the prosecution but if one of his assistants handled it perhaps recusal would not be required. I guess how the county attorney's office handles cases needs to be explored. If assistant picks up file from law enforcement agency to do prelim and/or bail hearing(s) and then hands it off to DA only cases Judge personally handled would require recusal. We've had pleanty of DAs and ADAs become judges so I suspect this is not going to be a crisis. I also must say I'm very proud of Haley for steping up to the plate on this one.

Beintheknow said...

Since trials are a such a rare find in Hinds County to begin with--Judge Harrison should have plenty of time to catch up