Duncan appointed to Eighth Circuit bench

Mark Duncan (Source: WTOK-TV)
Mark Duncan (Source: WTOK-TV)(WTOK)
Published: May. 31, 2017 at 2:46 PM CDT
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Gov. Phil Bryant has appointed Mark Duncan, district attorney for the Eighth Circuit Court District, to fill a judicial post.

Duncan will fill the Eighth Circuit Court judgeship left vacant by the retirement of Vernon Cotten, effective June 2.

Bryant will appoint a replacement for Duncan in the DA's office, which handles prosecutions for Scott, Leake, Neshoba and Newton counties.

“Mark’s experience as a prosecutor and the record he has established serving the people of the Eighth District make him the perfect fit to replace Judge Cotten,” Bryant said in a written statement. “I know that faithful service will continue once he’s on the bench, and I am delighted he has accepted this appointment.”

Before Duncan served as DA, he was an assistant district attorney in the Eighth District for 16 years.

"I want to thank Gov. Bryant for this opportunity and for the confidence he has shown in me by making this appointment,” Duncan said. “I will do my best to demonstrate that the trust he has shown in me is well placed. Judge Vernon Cotten served our district well for the past 20 years, always exhibiting the highest standards for honesty, fairness and integrity. I am humbled to have the chance to follow in his footsteps and will always strive to meet those same standards."

According to the governor's office, Duncan has handled more than 800 jury trials since 1988. He led the prosecution of former Ku Klux Klan leader Edgar Ray Killen for the killing of three civil rights workers. Duncan’s team secured a conviction on three counts of manslaughter that led to a 60-year sentence.