CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Feb. 18, 2014 – Former Arkansas Judge and State Sen. David Burnett and Scott Ellington, Prosecuting Attorney for the Second Judicial District of Arkansas, will be the keynote speakers at the 39th Annual Criminal Justice Day March 4 at Southeast Missouri State University.
The Department of Criminal Justice and Sociology sponsors Criminal Justice Day. Burnett is noted for being the original trial judge of the West Memphis Three cases. Ellington served as the prosecuting attorney in the retrial of the West Memphis Three cases.
The two will speak at 3:30 p.m. March 4 in Academic Hall Auditorium. Community, faculty, staff and students are encouraged and welcome to attend this free event.
Other events during Criminal Justice Day will include a job fair from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the third floor of the University Center. Students will be given the opportunity to speak directly with representatives from courts, corrections and law enforcement agencies local to the area as well as across the country.
Senator and Judge David Burnett
Burnett served two terms as the elected prosecuting attorney for the Second Judicial Circuit of Arkansas (1974-1982) and as Circuit Judge for this six-county circuit from 1983-2009. He was Chief Judge for the circuit from 2007-2009. After his retirement from the bench, he was elected to the Arkansas State Senate in 2010, where he currently represents Senate District 22. During his legal and judicial career, he has served as the president of the Arkansas Prosecuting Attorney’s Association, president of the Arkansas Judicial Council, chairman of the Judicial Advisory Board to the Arkansas Department of Corrections and chairman of the Arkansas Supreme Court Commission on Criminal Practice.
Currently, he is an attorney and an adjunct professor at Arkansas Northeastern College.
Burnett received a Bachelor of Arts in history and political science and a Juris Doctor in law from the University of Arkansas. He is a graduate of the National Judicial College at the University of Nevada. Burnett is a Vietnam War veteran, serving as a captain in the Military Police Corps and was awarded a Bronze Star and the Army Commendation Medal.
Burnett is also a proud Eagle Scout along with his father and his son. He has served scouting in numerous volunteer positions, including president of the Eastern Arkansas Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and has been awarded the District Award of Merit and the Silver Beaver Award, the highest award bestowed on a volunteer.
Ellington is the prosecutor in the Second Judicial Circuit of Arkansas, including Clay, Craighead, Crittenden, Greene, Mississippi and Poinsett counties in northeast Arkansas. He oversees approximately 25 deputy prosecutors across six counties.
Ellington is a native of Brookland, Ark., and currently lives in Jonesboro, Ark., with his wife, an elementary school teacher. They have three children and one grandson. Their daughter is a veteran of the U.S. Army and, after completing a tour of duty, is attending Arkansas State University-Jonesboro. Their older son is a junior at the Arkansas State University-Jonesboro and their younger son is a freshman at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss.
A member of First Baptist Church of Jonesboro, he serves on several church committees, mission projects and as a Sunday school teacher. He is a member of the Craighead & Greene County Bar Associations, the Arkansas Bar Association, the Arkansas Prosecuting Attorneys Association and the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Taskforce.
Ellington is a graduate of Brookland High School and Arkansas State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in agriculture in 1987. Ellington also holds a Juris Doctor from the William H. Bowen School of Law at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock.
Ellington was elected as district prosecuting attorney for the Second Judicial District in 2010 and took office in January 2011. Prior to joining the prosecutor’s office in 2007 as a deputy prosecuting attorney, he worked in private practice for 15 years, handling a variety of litigation.
For more information regarding the 39th Annual Criminal Justice Day, please call (573) 651-2541.