Terrett sworn in as Circuit District Judge

Published 7:37 pm Thursday, December 27, 2018

With her family, friends, supporters and city and county officials looking on, Toni Terrett took the oath of office as 9th Circuit District Judge Thursday at the Warren County Courthouse.

Terrett succeeds Judge Isadore Patrick who retired from the bench. Her term officially begins Jan. 2. Terrett, who has served as Vicksburg’s municipal judge, was elected to the court in the Nov. 6 general election.

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“I leave the judgeship in good hands; I have no doubt about that,” Patrick said as he prepared to administer the oath of office to Terrett. “And even before I knew her, I knew her parents. She comes from good stock.”

Speaking before Terrett’s swearing in, Mississippi Appeals Court Latrice Westbrooks told Terrett, “As a judge, and particularly a trial judge, your first loyalty is to the law. You will be presented with facts and scenarios that will make you uncomfortable and downright just disgusting. Your decisions will not always be popular. Your loyalty and fidelity to the law must be unbreakable, regardless of who or what is before you.

“You have been trusted with the charge to keep the law without respect to persons or circumstances. You sit in one of the few positions that immediately, effectively and materially changes the condition of someone’s life; that dictates the governance of the public.”

Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Leslie King told Terrett “being elected a judge does not change who you are. Putting on the black judicial robe does not make anyone smarter; what does change are the responsibilities entrusted to us as members of the judiciary. As judges, we have been entrusted with the awesome task of administering justice. Basically, it means being fair.

“As judges, we are here to serve the law and justice,” King said.

“You, the voters of Warren, Sharkey and Issaquena counties have entrusted me with a very tremendous and important task — to promote justice at all times. I take this duty seriously without regards to my personal feelings and beliefs, but with full adherence to the law,” Terrett said after the ceremony.

“Even as a law student, Judge Terrett displayed the potential that we saw before today,” Jim Rosenblatt, dean emeritus of the Mississippi College School of Law, said after the ceremony. “She was a great student, well thought of by her professors and her fellow students. She’s vibrant, full of energy and has a sense of justice. She’ll make a good circuit judge.”

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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