ACLU case settlement amount released
The attorney for Scott County in the American Civil Liberties Union case against the county, Will Allen of Brookhaven, provided this paper with an update last week that the monetary settlement between the ACLU and the county had been made public and was of the amount of $75,000.
Scott County was named along with Neshoba, Leake, and Newton Counties in the suit as they share the 8th Judicial Court Circuit.
The suit was brought against the four counties by the ACLU on behalf of Josh Bassett and Octavious Burks after the men were jailed for 8 and 10 months each without legal counsel or indictment. As reported in last week’s edition, Bassett’s charges were dismissed, and Burks was never indicted.
Scott County attorney, Noble Lee said of the division of the payment of the settlement, “Each county is contributing in the settlement.”
An exact percentage of the share of payment by each county and amount covered by insurance in each county has not yet been released.
Sheriff Mike Lee was optimistic about the outcome and in agreement that changes to procedure needed to be made. Lee said, “We expect this will streamline things —things will be more fluent.”
Referring to the implementation of public defenders, Sheriff Lee said, “We needed this.”
Sheriff Lee said that times have changed and described the current status compared to decades past as simply a greater plurality of cases which demands more expedience in the system.