By Associated Press - Wednesday, February 10, 2021

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Mississippi is spending $5 million of federal coronavirus aid to appoint eight senior judges to help reduce the backlog in the Hinds County court system.

The Clarion Ledger reports that a temporary courtroom will be set up in the Woolfolk State Office Building across the street from the state Capitol.

The announcement was made by Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann and Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike Randolph during a Wednesday press conference.

The backlog in the court system has been driven by a historic rise in violent crime in Jackson amid the COVID-19 pandemic. There were more than 125 homicides reported in Jackson alone in 2020.

There are currently thousands of backlogged cases in Hinds County, Randolph said during the briefing.

According to the Ledger, Hosemann said even in cases where an individual has been indicted by a grand jury, there are hundreds that haven’t made it to trial. The backlog has kept those cases from making it to court.

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