Scott County Sheriff speaks out about ACLU lawsuit - - Jackson, MS

Scott County Sheriff speaks out about ACLU lawsuit

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
SCOTT COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Unlawful detainment; that's what the ACLU says is happening to inmates in Scott County.

The groups says inmates are being held too long without due process.

Scott County detainees Joshua Bassett and Octavious Burks are at the center of a class action law suit. The ACLU filed the suit against the Scott County sheriff, district attorney and judges on behalf of the two detainees after it says the detention center has held people for as long as one year without appointing counsel and without indicting them.

This violates the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments which is the right to counsel, a speedy trial and a fair bail hearing.

"That's not true," said Sheriff Mike Lee. "Burks was indicted by a federal grand jury. His bond right now is five thousand dollars. He could easily bond out right now, but now that he has this federal indictment, we have to hold him here until they process him through."

Octavious Burks is locked up for three felony charges including a felon being in possession of a firearm and attempted armed robbery.

Joshua Bassett is behind bars for a felony charge as well, burglary of an occupied dwelling. Right now Bassett does have a 100 thousand dollar bond.

"Bassett has two felony charges within a year. He was out of jail and then re-arrested and his case is sitting at the DA's office, said Sheriff Lee. "If someone would have talked to any of our investigators that are handling these cases, both of these cases can be very well explained in the case management. There is no basis for this department to be named in that suit."

As of Thursday afternoon neither Sheriff Lee nor any of the other parties involved in the suit have actually been served with the lawsuit.

He says they had no idea about the lawsuit until seeing it from media.

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