Carpenter announces candidacy for judge

Published 5:53 pm Sunday, April 15, 2018

Angela Carpenter has announced her candidacy for Circuit Court Judge for the 9th Circuit District Court Subdistrict 1, which covers Warren, Sharkey and Issaquena counties.

The seat is presently held by Judge Isdaore Patrick, who is retiring from the bench and not seeking re-election.

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A native of Vicksburg, Carpenter, 49, has 17 years of legal experience, and was appointed an assistant district attorney by District Attorney Ricky Smith in 2008, becoming the first woman to serve in the position and the second African American. Patrick, she said, was the first African American assistant district attorney in Vicksburg before being elected judge.

“As assistant DA, I have presented over 1,000 cases to the grand juries in the 9th District and have successfully prosecuted numerous felony cases at trial. “ she said. “One of the things I’ve learned most of all by having been an assistant DA in the DA’s office for 10 years now, is how important it is to administer fair justice. Having worked on both sides, as prosecution and defense, I have come to respect and appreciate the importance of administering justice that is fair.”

As a prosecutor, she said, “We work our cases for the victim, because we’re seeking justice for the victim, but at the same time, we realize it’s not that narrow.

“We have to look at the other side as well. We have to look at the circumstances involving the defendant. We can’t take every case on its face. We have to consider that there are circumstances in each case, and in doing so, we help to administer the most fair justice possible.

“I believe that becoming a circuit court judge would be a natural progression in that it will allow me to still be in a position to help administer the best justice possible for all involved.”

Before serving in the district attorney’s office, Carpenter practiced in Warren County Youth Court representing children. In 2006, she was appointed by Circuit Court Judge Frank Vollor to serve as a public defender for the Drug Court Program for the 9th Circuit District. During that time, she opened her law office in Vicksburg, where she worked in criminal law, family law and personal injury.

Carpenter’s legal career began as an associate attorney with the plaintiff firm, Dockins Turnage and Banks, where she represented victims in malpractice, product liability, wrongful death, personal injury and premises liability cases.

Before attending law school from 1994 to 1997, she served as coordinator for the Court Appointed Special Advocate, or CASA, Program with the Warren County Child Abuse Prevention Center, helping advocate for abused and neglected children in the juvenile court system.

She was admitted to practice law in 2001 and is a member of the Mississippi Bar, where she serves on the Standing Committee on Ethics. She is also a member of the Warren County Bar and Magnolia Bar, and a member of the Mississippi Prosecutors Association, where she has previously served on its board of officers.

Carpenter is a member of the United Way of West Central Mississippi, where she serves as a member of its Campaign Cabinet. She has received numerous awards, including the Mississippi Business Journal’s 2017 Leaders in Law Award, and recognition in the Who’s Who in Black Mississippi, Second Edition.

Carpenter is a 1986 graduate of Vicksburg High School. She received her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Southern Mississippi and a master’s degree in political science from Mississippi College. She received her law degree from Mississippi College School of Law. She has one child, her daughter India.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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