Jury Awards $250,000 to Woman Jailed Without Seeing a Judge

JACKSON, MS (AP) — A Mississippi jury awarded $250,000 in damages Tuesday to a woman jailed 96 days without seeing a judge, a case spotlighting how Mississippi still struggles to provide access to lawyers or bail to people jailed before trial. The verdict included $200,000 in damages against Choctaw County Sheriff Cloyd Halford and $50,000 against the county after a two-day trial in federal court in Aberdeen. Jessica Jauch was originally arrested on traffic charges in 2012 and held in Choctaw County after being served with a drug indictment. While in jail, she was forced to temporarily sign over her daughter’s custody rights to her mother. After finally seeing a judge, she was appointed a public defender and quickly made bail. Eventually, she was cleared of the drug charge after undercover video didn’t show her committing any crime.

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