West Point’s very own Nebra Porter says the Circuit Court needs a woman to represent the 16th district.
Running for Place Three, Porter believes that her experience as a criminal defense attorney would bring a fresh perspective to the bench.
“As a woman, I would also bring a different perspective,” she said. “Women tend to be more sympathetic and compassionate as a rule.”
Plus, women make up more than 50 percent of the population, yet they are rarely represented on the bench, she added.
Porter, who moved to West Point six years ago, said that unlike most judges, she would look at defendants as if they were automatically guilty - a habit she calls the “prosecutorial” mindset.
“Eighty percent of the time, defense attorneys are not allowed to present evidence,” she said. “But a judge should be a referee - not the decision maker - to make sure the rules are followed.”
The firm supporter of a drug court for the 16th district bemoans the state’s prisons that are full of non-violent drug offenders.
Sixteen of Mississippi’s 22 districts have put in place 12-to36-month programs that help first-time offenders recover from addiction without felonies on their record upon completion.
“I would do my best to see that system established here,” she said.
Porter has worked as an attorney for over 20 years and for 16 years as a defense attorney.
She hopes that when deciding on a sentence, she would consider factors such as how many times they have been before her.
“Before I sentence someone, I want to know how they got there,” she said. “First-time offenders do not have to be sentenced for 30 years,” she said.