Vollor declines to recuse; high court to study case|[5/25/06]

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 25, 2006

The state Supreme Court has taken the unusual step of agreeing to consider a Vicksburg defendant’s appeal of a judge’s refusal to recuse himself.

Patrick Rader, 33, 119 Singing Hills Cove, represented by Vicksburg attorney Jerry Campbell, argues that a sentencing policy Circuit Judge Frank Vollor announced in December disqualifies Vollor.

The policy, announced by Vollor in a one-page memo to local attorneys, judges and law enforcement officers, announces a one-year minimum prison sentence for people who plead guilty to possession of drugs and either aren’t eligible for or choose not to enter monitored rehabilitation.

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District Attorney Gil Martin and his two assistants prosecute felony cases in the county and represent the state in plea negotiations.

One of those assistants, John Bullard, is challenging Vollor for the judgeship. Voting in that race is to take place Nov. 7.

In a Wednesday request to the Supreme Court, Vollor cited the pending election and asked that the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office represent the state in the matter before the high court.

The Rader case is convoluted: