The Clarion-Ledger, 3/9/9

A year-old case assignment plan for Hinds County Circuit Court judges that drew the ire of the county’s two African-American circuit judges has been replaced.

Judges Tomie Green and Winston Kidd, both African American, had complained they were excluded from hearing major criminal cases under the assignment plan that began Jan. 1, 2008.

Senior Judge Swan Yerger, who had instituted the plan, said last week that cases are now being rotated among the full-time, regular circuit judges. Therefore, Green and Kidd will preside over violent crime and other criminal cases.

“We all met and agreed upon it,” Yerger said. “We worked it out. We had a good meeting. All the judges agreed to rotate it.”

As senior judge, Yerger is responsible for assigning cases to himself and the other full-time circuit judges.

Under the previous plan, Yerger and Judge Bobby DeLaughter, prior to being suspended, would handle the major crime, or category one, cases.