Gov. Phil Bryant has announced his support for Circuit Judge Jeff Weill in his election campaign for the Mississippi Court of Appeals, the candidate told the Jones County Republican Women in a visit to their meeting on Wednesday.
“Judge Weill will make an out- standing addition to the Mississippi Court of Appeals and I strongly endorse and support him in this election,” Bryant said.
Weill, twice-elected as Hinds County Circuit Court Judge, is a former state court prosecutor and Jackson city councilman.
“Gov. Bryant is a great American and champion for Mississippi, and I am deeply honored and humbled to receive his support in this important election,” Judge Weill replied.
The 10 judges currently on the court of appeal are from diverse judicial backgrounds, but none are former circuit court judges like Weill. The appellate judges routinely rule on appeals from circuit courts, including the overwhelming majority of felony criminal appeals.
“It just makes sense that adding a former circuit court judge who has presided over many jury trials to verdict will enhance the ability of the appellate court to properly decide appeals from trial courts,” Weill said.
Weill has presided in more than 135 jury trials to verdict during his eight years on the bench, and more than 100 of those were criminal trials for major felonies. In addition to a busy criminal docket, the judge also presides over an active list of civil cases and has issued hundreds of judicial opinions. His decisions on the trial bench have been routinely affirmed by Mississippi appellate courts. Weill was a former assistant district attorney for DA Dunn Lampton in Pike, Lincoln, Walthall and Copiah counties.
The Tylertown native plans to run for the seat that’s been held for 20 years by Justice Joe Lee, who isn’t seeking reelection. Three other candidates will also be on the ballot in November — Byron Carter, Laura McKinley Glaze and David McCarty. There are 10 Court of Appeals judges in five districts and they serve eight-year terms. The election will be Nov. 6.