Mecklenburg County DA speaks out about spike in crime, challenges in court system

Meck Co. DA Spencer Merriweather speaks more on violent crime in Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - District Attorney Spencer Mayweather visited WBTV’s On Your Side Tonight on Friday and discussed the issues Mecklenburg County is facing with rising crime rates and a court system that has been criticized for allowing repeat offenders back on the streets.

While Mayweather declined to comment on the deadly shooting committed by Eddie Doh earlier this month at a local Steak N’ Shake, he did acknowledge that the DA’s office recognizes the issue with rising crime and repeat offenders. At the same time, he also suggested that it is out of the hands of his office once a person is sentenced for a crime. Releasing prisoners early is simply not a decision that local officials are making, Mayweather said.

‘Once a person leaves a courtroom and they are sentenced by a judge it’s entirely in the hands of our department of adult correction.’

Mayweather remarked that the court system handling adult corrections for North Carolina had to make uniform sentencing decisions for a diverse range of communities. The DA specifically pointed out how difficult it would be to handle the sentencing and incarceration needs for a large urban community like Mecklenburg County as opposed to more rural municipalities with fewer people and less crime.

‘We are a community of 1.1 million people and we need to have a court system that reflects that...that treats all of our victims with dignity.’

Even if changes can be made to the system -Mayweather specifically suggested giving judges longer commissions so that they could handle a bigger caseload- he also points out that crime can rise and fall at times for no explainable reason at all.

“The spike in crime is often inexplicable.”

Regardless, the desire to see changes in how corrections in North Carolina handles prisoners and their sentences remains a priority for Mayweather and the Mecklenburg County DA’s office as a whole.

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