Houston County Courts Step it Up

By: Rayne McKenzie
By: Rayne McKenzie

In the next 60 days 11 murder trials will go to court, more than ever before in such a short period of time.

Houston County Courthouse employees are working overtime. The extra effort is to handle the largest amount of criminal cases they have ever taken to trial.

Henry and Houston County district attorney Doug Valeska said, "From january 8 to March 5 we have six capital murder cases. We've never had that before."

In 2005 Judge Lawson little increased trial dates from just once a month to twice a month. The move is allowing more cases to go to trial and is causing outsiders to take notice.

Judge Lawson Little said, “We try to push hard so the current caseload and the last are at least equal. A new study shows we have the highest disposal rate of any major circuit court."

The increased trials not only make the Houston County court system look good, but also help to bring a sense of closure to victims' families.

Valeska said, "We want cases resolved for victim. It’s a lot of pain and suffering."

Right now there are 22 capital murder cases pending in Houston County. The court system is planning to hear most of them within the next 18 months.

Houston County will be able to try even more cases in the future. During the next election voters will choose another circuit court judge, which will allow more cases to go to trial.


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