Court of Appeals to visit Mississippi Valley State University March 23
February 28, 2023
The Mississippi Court of Appeals will convene on the campus of Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena on March 23.
A three-judge panel will hear oral arguments in an appeal starting at 10 a.m. in the Carver A. Randle Auditorium located in the W.A. Butts Social Science Building.
The Court of Appeals’ Court on the Road program schedules oral arguments on college campuses and occasionally at other locations as a teaching tool to give students and the public opportunities to watch proceedings in cases on appeal. Court on the Road offers a unique learning experience for students with an interest in law, government, journalism and a variety of other fields. The general public may attend to gain a better understanding of appellate court proceedings.
Court of Appeals Judge Latrice A. Westbrooks of Lexington, who coordinated the visit to MVSU, said, “The Court on the Road program offers the opportunity for transparency and education. It elevates the public's understanding of Mississippi's judicial system. It also encourages civic engagement and exposes the students to the Court in a way that is not adversarial. There are no witnesses and no jury.”
The Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in the appeal of Gilbert S. Macvaugh III v. State of Mississippi, cause number 2021-CA-01317-COA.
Court records show that Dr. Macvaugh, a psychologist, was retained by the Attorney General’s Office to conduct a forensic capital mitigation evaluation of Devin Allen Bennett in Bennett’s post-conviction appeal of his capital murder conviction. The Rankin County Circuit Court in an order issued on May 14, 2018, granted the prosecution's motion to remove Macvaugh, cite him with contempt of court and appoint a different expert. Macvaugh appealed the contempt citation.
The appellant’s brief filed on behalf of Macvaugh is at this link: https://courts.ms.gov/appellatecourts/docket/sendPDF.php?f=web0001..2021-CA-1317.71610.0.pdf&c=94377&a=N&s=2.
The appellee’s brief filed by the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office is at this link: https://courts.ms.gov/appellatecourts/docket/sendPDF.php?f=web0001..2021-CA-1317.76854.0.pdf&c=94377&a=N&s=2.
Attorneys for both sides will have 30 minutes to make their arguments and answer questions from the judges. Judges will talk with students after oral arguments and answer students’ questions, although they won’t talk about the pending case.
People wishing to watch oral arguments are asked to be seated 15 minutes before the proceeding is scheduled to begin.
Members of the news media, including student journalists, who may wish to photograph or videotape the arguments must file a Camera Coverage Notice. Camera Coverage Notices should be directed to Clerk of the Court Jeremy Whitmire, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, fax 601-359-2407; and to Assistant Court Administrator Camille Evans, e-mail email@example.com, fax 601-576-4708. The Camera Coverage Notice form is at this link: https://courts.ms.gov/news/forms/camnotice.pdf
Media photographers and videographers must be familiar with and follow the Rules for Electronic and Photographic Coverage of Judicial Proceedings. The camera coverage rules are at https://courts.ms.gov/research/rules/msrulesofcourt/rules_electronicphotographic_coverage.pdf.
The oral arguments will not be broadcast via the Mississippi Judiciary website, since the Court of Appeals is convening in special session away from its camera-equipped courtroom.