JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Four Mississippi counties will pay $75,000 in settling a lawsuit by two men who were jailed for months in Scott County without being indicted or getting court-appointed lawyers.
Will Allen, a lawyer for the counties, says Scott, Leake, Neshoba and Newton counties will pay the money.
U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate approved the settlement last month, with the counties agreeing to appoint lawyers for poor defendants immediately after their arrest and to consider alternatives to money bail.
Plaintiffs Josh Bassett and Octavious Burks will receive money as part of the settlement. The two sued in 2014.
The American Civil Liberties Union and the MacArthur Justice Center pursued the suit, alleging poor people are being unfairly jailed because they can’t afford bail. They also sought changes in appointing public defenders.