The Mississippi Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments on the campus of the University of Mississippi at 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. April 21. A three-member panel of the court will convene at the Robert C. Khayat Law Center in Moot Court 1, Room 2078, to hear two criminal appeals.
The Court of Appeals hears oral arguments each spring at the University of Mississippi School of Law as part of its Court on the Road program. The court periodically schedules oral arguments on college campuses and occasionally at other locations as a teaching tool for students.
Court of Appeals Judge Jim Greenlee of Oxford said that having the oral arguments on campus offers and opportunity for students, lawyers and the general public to see an appellate court at work and better understand the operations of the court. The Court on the Road program helps educate students and the public about appeals court proceedings and gives appellate judges an opportunity to talk about how the court operates. Judges talk with students and answer questions after the oral arguments, although they don’t talk about the pending cases.
The court will hear appeals of drug convictions of Andrew Acie Adams from Harrison County Circuit Court and Anthony Jefferson from Madison County Circuit Court.
Law students from the University of Mississippi School of Law Criminal Appeals Clinic researched and briefed both appeals and will present oral arguments on behalf of the incarcerated men. The students work under the supervision of attorney Phil Broadhead, clinical professor and director of the Criminal Appeals Clinic. The cases were referred to the Criminal Appeals Clinic by the state Office of Indigent Appeals.
Professor Broadhead said the Criminal Appeals Clinic provides an experience similar to an apprenticeship for students. They experience problem solving in real cases. Broadhead said, “The opportunity to teach, collaborate with, and mentor these students has led me to believe the clinical dynamic guides them to a shorter transition time from being a law student to becoming a lawyer.”
Third-year law students who will argue the cases are Valerie Moss of Greenwood, Phillip Summa of Charlotte, N.C., Jay Clay of Aberdeen, and Derek Cantrell of Gainesville, Ga.
The students who wrote the briefs are Paul Prichard of Mobile, Ala., Derek Goff of Biloxi, Jody A. Bevill of Lexington, and Ethan D. Lavelle of Camden, Tenn.
Special Assistant Attorneys General Laura Tedder and Barbara Byrd represent the Attorney General.
Here is background about the cases, from court records:
Andrew Acie Adams v. State of Mississippi, Cause Number 2015-KA-00520-COA Court records show that Andrew Acie Adams was arrested in Gulfport on Oct. 30, 2013. Adams was tried on February 10, 2015, and convicted of possession of 250 grams or more but less than 500 grams of marijuana. He was charged as a second or subsequent drug offender and as an habitual offender. Circuit Judge Lawrence P. Bourgeois Jr. sentenced Adams to 16 years in prison without hope of parole or early release.
Adams’ brief is at this link:
The Attorney General’s brief is at this link:
Anthony Davon Jefferson a/k/a Anthony Devon Jefferson a/k/a Anthony Jefferson a/k/a Marcus Ross a/k/a Wesley Thompson a/k/a Anthony Davis Jefferson v. State of Mississippi, Cause Number 2015-KA-00948-COA Court records show that Anthony Jefferson, a resident of California, was arrested in Canton on Aug. 18, 2011, while visiting Mississippi to attend a relative’s funeral. Jefferson was tried in absentia. He left the courthouse and did not return after a hearing on a suppression motion on May 14, 2012. He was convicted and sentenced to 60 years in prison on a charge of possession with intent to deliver more than1 kilo but less than 5 kilos of marijuana, and to 40 years on a charge of conspiracy to possess marijuana. Testimony showed that 4.4 pounds of marijuana was seized. Madison County Circuit Court Judge William E. Chapman III ordered the sentences to be served concurrently, without possibility of parole. Jefferson was convicted as an habitual offender as a result of two California drug convictions.
Jefferson’s brief is at this link:
The Attorney General’s brief is at this link:
Arrival, seating and camera coverage
People wishing to watch the oral arguments are asked to be in their seats 15 minutes before the proceedings are scheduled to begin. The oral arguments will not be broadcast via the court’s Internet web site, since the Court of Appeals is convening a special session away from its camera-equipped courtroom. Any media organization which may wish to photograph or videotape the arguments must file a Camera Coverage Notice. Camera Coverage Notices should be directed to Clerk of the Court Muriel Ellis, fax 601-359-2407, and to Assistant Court Administrator Camille Evans, fax 601-576-4708. The Camera Coverage Notice form is at http://www.mssc.state.ms.us/forms/camnotice.pdfhttp://courts.ms.gov/forms/camnotice.pdf. Photographers and videographers should be familiar with and follow the Rules for Electronic and Photographic Coverage of Judicial Proceedings. The camera coverage rules are available on the Mississippi Judiciary website at: http://courts.ms.gov/rules/msrulesofcourt/rules_electronicphotographic_coverage.pdf.