Jackson Mayor Frank Melton requested Monday that municipal court judges set a minimum $500,000 bond in certain crimes, one of the several changes he has planned for the court system.
“I’m respectfully asking the city judges to set a $500,000 minimum bond on anyone using a weapon to hurt another person,” Melton said.
Melton, three weeks into his new job, wants to add judges and turn the municipal court into a seven-day-a-week, 24-hour operation. He’d prefer judges to set bonds for anyone accused of using a weapon to hurt someone – rather than a court clerk looking at a bond schedule.
Municipal court processes all arrests made in Jackson. Misdemeanor charges can go to trial, but those facing felonies get preliminary appearances and initial appearances before being transferred to Hinds County Court or the appropriate jurisdiction.
Melton said if a judge is available at any time, people will move through the system faster and more appropriate bonds can be set. He said he would eliminate jobs in his own office to pay for additional judges.