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Our View: Don’t split up 7th Judicial District

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Rocky Mount Telegram

Sunday, January 14, 2018

A plan to remove Nash County from the 7th Judicial District would cause major problems for the area.

Republican-backed legislation to redraw the state’s judicial districts would do just that, splitting Rocky Mount into separate judicial districts at the county line.

The bill would place Nash County in a district with Franklin, Granville and Person counties, a sprawling, geographically peculiar area compared to the boundaries of the current 7th District that comprises Nash, Edgecombe and Wilson counties, an area that has many things in common.

Such a split will complicate joint crime-fighting efforts by the Nash and Edgecombe county sheriff’s offices and the Tar River Regional Drug Task Force, forcing prosecutions of such cases to be handled by separate District Attorney’s offices.

The plan will come with a heavy price tag for Nash County. It would increase the caseload at the courthouse in Nashville, since many Nash County cases are heard at the Rocky Mount Judicial Center on the Edgecombe County side of Rocky Mount. All Nash County juvenile court cases also are heard at the Judicial Center.

While Nash County is currently in the process of expanding the Nash County Courthouse, the larger facility when completed will not be sufficient to handle the increased volume of cases resulting from the proposed split. Nash County then would be forced to spend a lot of money on new offices and facilities.

The Rocky Mount City Council and Nash County Board of Commissioners recently and correctly unanimously approved resolutions opposing the redistricting plan, which has been sent to commissioners in Edgecombe and Wilson counties and other local municipalities that are expected to approve it as well in the near future.

Lawmakers must be made to understand what a bad idea this proposed redistricting plan is for the Twin Counties.

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