DeSoto County, Miss.—Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann held a joint press conference with Bob Morris, District Attorney for Mississippi’s Twenty-Third Judicial District, to highlight the Legislature’s efforts to add three assistant district attorneys (ADA) in DeSoto County and pass other bills aimed at tackling crime.
“DeSoto County is one of the fastest growing areas of the state, so we must plan for the future now,” said Hosemann, crediting Senators Kevin Blackwell, Mike McLendon, and David Parker for their effective advocacy for the new ADAs. “In addition to great schools, thriving economic development, and secure infrastructure, families and businesses which locate here value the fact that this area is safe. We must back up our law enforcement officers with prosecutors ready to enforce the law.”
Currently, DeSoto County has five full-time ADAs who are responsible for prosecuting all felony crimes committed within the jurisdiction. House Bill 834, passed during the 2023 Legislative Session, added one additional permanent prosecutor in 14 different judicial districts, including DeSoto County. House Bill 603 provided the county with $275,000 to pay for two more ADAs.
House Bill 602 also increased discretionary funds for district attorneys across the state to allow more flexibility in hiring staff, updating equipment, or covering other necessary expenses.
“Our ultimate goal is to make the ADAs hired with the funds from House Bill 603 permanent, then add two more permanent prosecutors for a total of 10 operating in the district,” Morris said. “The growth we have seen in our communities is a blessing. It has also resulted in significant needs, including ensuring our criminal justice system is robust enough to accommodate the population.”
The Legislature is expected to redistrict judicial districts during the 2024 Legislative Session, which will likely result in the allocation of additional prosecutors.
Under Hosemann’s leadership, several other pieces of legislation addressed the increase in violent crime and public corruption this Session including:
- Senate Bill 2101, which increases mandatory minimum sentences for the crimes of fleeing law enforcement in a motor vehicle, carjacking, and armed carjacking;
- Senate Bill 2127, which removes the requirement that a person making a terroristic threat must also make a demand like money so prosecution can occur for the threat itself; and
- Senate Bill 2420, which creates a registry for offenders who commit the crime of embezzlement or misappropriation of public funds. Offenders remain on the list for five years from the date of conviction or the date of release from physical incarceration, whichever is later. Governmental entities are not permitted to hire persons whose name appears on the registry for any position in accounting or which otherwise oversees taxpayer money.
For more information about Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann, visit www.ltgovhosemann.ms.gov.