The Clarion-Ledger, 7/20/8

As two new special judges prepare to join the Hinds County court system to reduce a criminal backlog, more cases already have been resolved this year than last year.

From January through June, 1,410 cases were disposed of — 271 of them because they were not prosecuted.

During the same period last year, 982 cases were disposed of, with 12 not prosecuted, according to court records.

At the end of June, indictments had been served in 2,278 cases, according to court records.

Melvin Priester, a Jackson municipal judge, and William Gowan Jr., undersheriff of Hinds County, will begin as special judges on Aug. 1 for two-year terms lasting through July 31, 2010. The two bring to six the number of special judges state Chief Justice Jim Smith has added in Hinds County.