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Augusta Judicial Circuit Juvenile Court judges appointed

Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012 4:40 PM
Last updated 7:53 PM
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A new juvenile court judge was appointed to the Augusta Judicial Circuit on Wednesday and the terms of two incumbents were not renewed.

Pamela James Doumar was named the newest member of the court, which handles truancy and family matters. Judges Jennifer McKinzie and Doug Flanagan will keep their posts.

In making the positions full time for the first time, the size of the court was reduced from four judges to three. Judges Willie Saunders, who ran against Chief Superior Court Judge Carlisle Overstreet in the July 31 primary, and Ben Allen will not return to the court for the four-year term that begins Oct. 1.

The appointment decisions are made by the eight Superior Court judges of the Augusta Judicial Circuit.

“We are pleased to appoint three well-qualified and fair-minded attorneys to those important positions,” Overstreet said in a prepared statement. “Our appreciation is extended to those judges who previously served in Juvenile Court.”

Doumar is a sole practitioner trial attorney with 20 years’ experience and specializes in class-action environmental and consumer claims. She has previous experience as a juvenile court judge.

McKinzie was appointed to the bench in 2008. She previously served as an attorney with the Augusta Circuit Indigent Defense Program and a contract attorney for the Department of Juvenile Justice.

Flanagan has served as Juvenile Court judge for the past 12 years.

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toppergem
125
Points
toppergem 09/12/12 - 06:43 pm
4
3
Change in court dangerous to Black and poor youths

Juvenile court has gone from having two Black judges on the juvenile court's bench to having no black males or any black at all on the court. The court now has two white women and one white man making decisions over the lives of mostly disadvantaged blacks children who make up over 70 percent of the cases seen by this court. The city of Augusta by removing all Black representation on this court has proven once again that whites in power on the Augusta Judicial Court Circut, police department and the District Attorney's did not like the direction the court had taken...which was not throwing every child in jail, but finding and creating programs to help parents and children who appear in front of the courtget a handle on the barriers that were affecting them in such a negative way. Alternative solutions to the problems they face in their daily lives, such as poverty, mental illness, sickness, poor education, homelessness were not the way the powers that be wanted juvenile court to operate. These factors, which I mentioned earlier, are primarily the reasons for some of the really stupid decisions children and their parents of our area make in life. I am really upset that our juvenile court, which was for the first time making a real difference in the lives of children,will once again revert to the punitive system that it was prior to four years ago. Juvenile court will once again levey harsh punish and jail time instead of support and find positive solutions. The diehard people in the law enforcement areas who fought change and did not want positive constructive change to happen have won. This is a really sad day for the children in Richmond and surround counties under the jurisdiction of the Augusta Judicial Circuit. But, maybe I will be surprised if many of the helpful and great programs that were implemented by former Judges Willie Sanders and Ben Allen put in place during their tenure will remain in place or will be built upon during the next four years. We will see!

nevertoolate
291
Points
nevertoolate 09/12/12 - 06:54 pm
6
0
Judge Flanagan

I can't speak for the other judges, but I know first hand that Judge Flanagan is an excellent Juvenile Court Judge. My son had to stand before him and he was fair and just. He gave my son several chances to walk the line, and then lowered the boom on him. My son deserved it, and I must say that today he has grown to be an honorable, law abiding young man.

rational thought trumps emotion
2459
Points
rational thought trumps emotion 09/12/12 - 07:08 pm
5
1
TopperGem

Instead of so much time spent discussing the race of the judges, why don't you concentrate on the fact that as you said, most of those who end up in court are black. What is being done by the community at large and specifically the black communtiy to enhance the opportunities of our youth to not get involved in criminal activity to begin with? I agree, jail is not the answer, until the commit a violent crime but the hand slaps aren't working either so it matters not what color the judge is. When 50% of the kids in RC don't even graduate and you have a school system that spends more per pupil than nearby systems graduating 90% of their kids you have a real problem. And, as you know, the RC school system is not run by a bunch of old white guys so place the blame elsewhere. America is a country of great opportunity, our poor are middle to upper class compared to many countries. What we all must realize is that we are owed NOTHING that we don't strive to do for ourselves. Some of what you have to say is correc but the race card is just pure crap and is continually overplayed without justification.

Little Lamb
43831
Points
Little Lamb 09/12/12 - 09:51 pm
2
1
Race

TopperGem posted:

The city of Augusta by removing all black representation on this court has proven once again that whites in power on the Augusta Judicial Court Circuit, police department and the District Attorney's office did not like the direction the court had taken.

Don't worry, Topper. Come January, the sheriff's office will be under black control and the judicial system will return to two to one, as you perceive it was before this announcement. All will be right with your world again.

toppergem
125
Points
toppergem 09/12/12 - 11:19 pm
3
0
Let me paint this situation

Let me paint this situation with a different paintbrush and you tell me that race doesn't matter. If the children who came through juvenile court were 70 precent white, the Augusta Judicial Court judges were 85 percent Black, the judges in Juvenile Court were all Black with the exception of two who were white and the white judges were dismissed and replaced with Blacks. Would you not think that something didn't look or feel right? Sure, you would alarmed and up in arms because in the United States and particularly in Augusta, GA race always matters. I don't doubt that the new lawyer that has been appointed is a good lawyer and will probably make a good jurist and I know from personal experience Doug Flanagan is a fair and honest jurist. But, so were the two men who now leave the bench. My world will be just fine no matter who is elected in the position of sheriff but I am not so sure about the world of the youth that comes before this newly configured court. Finally, my answer to the situation with the local school system is very, very radical for many people...I would go to a voucher system and allow parents to send their children anywhere they feel their child or children would get the best education possible...and I would totally dismantle the school system as we currently know it. The one room school house worked far better than what we have today!!

Riverman1
79416
Points
Riverman1 09/13/12 - 04:47 am
2
0
Sure race matters. I'd be

Sure race matters. I'd be upset if I were black and Willie Saunders wasn't one of the judge. Saunders had the audacity to run against a sitting judge is why he was left out.

But some play this race game both ways. We have candidates running for sheriff as Democrats because blacks are the majority in Richmond County and they are almost totally Democratic voters. Think those white candidates were playing the race game? Sixty percent of the county is nonwhite and we should all recognize racial considerations permeate politics and the judicial system in every community in the nation. Nothing different here.

Little Lamb
43831
Points
Little Lamb 09/13/12 - 08:41 am
1
0
Sheriff Nanny

I just had a thought. If Roundtree wins the election for sheriff, and then institutes his community policing initiative and his school intervention program, there will soon be so few people coming before the juvenile justice bench that they will have to lay off at least one of these three full-time judges for lack of work.

zippy
234
Points
zippy 09/13/12 - 09:20 am
0
1
Past media reports said that

Past media reports said that Saunders was not applying to for another term. Not sure about Allen. However its hard to give a job to someone who does not apply. Get a list if applicants then we can see what happened.

Little Lamb
43831
Points
Little Lamb 09/13/12 - 09:25 am
1
0
Allen

It was past time for Ben Allen to go. He has been sucking Richmond County taxpayers’ paps dry for decades as special master for the plaintiffs in the Acree vs. Board of Education lawsuit. He draws serious money for very little effort. Becoming juvenile court judge was just a hobby for him.

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