“Defendants spend years waiting for trial in Robeson County.” Associated Press State & Local Wire 1 April 1999. 573 words.
Discusses the fact that defendants sometimes spend three to five years in jail waiting for their murder trial to be held. Johnson Britt, who became district attorney in 1994, vowed to reduce the long wait period; but conditions in the county have made it difficult. The county has a high murder rate (42 murders last year, compared to 29 murders in neighboring Cumberland County, which has three times the population). Johnson Britt had a backlog of 73 murder cases when he took office. Murder trials must be heard along with other felony trials in only two courtrooms with two judges. The county has only two court recorders. Last year, a judge limited the number of cases the district attorney could place on the court calendar.