Though he did not expect to become a judge someday when he began studying the law, Jake Newton feels the position of district judge is an important one and a great responsibility.
Newton ran unopposed for district judge in Stone County during the judicial elections in March, after learning that Whit Fowlkes was not seeking re-election.
Although Fowlkes’s term would have continued until the end of this year, he chose to retire at the beginning of March, and Newton was a natural choice to fill out the year before beginning his own term Jan. 1. He was appointed by the governor and assumed the office in early March.
“It’s been interesting. I’m learning a lot and trying to do a good job for the people and the county,” Newton said.
“Eighty-five or 90 percent of people, this is their taste of the judicial system. So it’s important to let them know they can contest these tickets or charges or whatever it is, and they will have a fair and impartial judge to hear their case, and hopefully the just outcome will be rendered.”
Newton said it is also in the public’s interest to have a fair but firm judge.
“It’s important for the community at large and the defendants themselves to have a judge that will be impartial and give them a fair voice,” he said.
District court includes all misdemeanors, ranging from speeding tickets to domestic battery and DWI.
“I hear more DWI cases than anything,” he said.
See more in the June 29, 2016 issue of the Leader.