Mayor seeks to resolve juvenile court conflicts
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee county mayor says defense attorneys for delinquent youth whose cases pose a conflict of interest with the Public Defender’s Office will no longer be chosen by a juvenile court staff member.
Instead, Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris’ office announced on Tuesday that a person on the mayor’s staff will make the choice. The change still needs approval from the Shelby County Commission.
It seeks to resolve a conflict highlighted in a Department of Justice report in which monitor Sandra Simkins outlined two main areas where the county still doesn’t comply with an agreement reached in 2012: “inappropriate influence” over defense appointments and children being transferred to adult criminal court without due process.
Harris told The Commercial Appeal that he will meet with Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich to discuss the other issue.
Information from: The Commercial Appeal, http://www.commercialappeal.com