Judiciary Mourns The Loss Of Judge James C. Beasley, Jr.

February 22, 2021

Former 30th Judicial District Criminal Court Judge James C. Beasley, Jr. passed away on February 21, 2021. Judge Beasley served the people of Shelby County for 22 years as a judge, from 1995 until his retirement in 2017. Prior to his judicial career, Judge Beasley served as an assistant district attorney general in Shelby County for 17 years.

Judge Beasley was deeply dedicated to his work and his colleagues on the bench. Those colleagues recognized that dedication and elected him president of the Tennessee Judicial Conference in 2011.

“I’m truly honored that my colleagues and friends elected me to lead the Tennessee Judicial Conference,” Beasley said at the time of his appointment. “This organization plays a big role in promoting the positive work of the judiciary and I look forward to working with my fellow judges to raise awareness about the things that go on in our courtrooms each and every day.”

Judge Beasley graduated from the University of Memphis in 1973 and stayed there to earn his Juris Doctor from the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law in 1977.

In pursuing the career that he did, Judge Beasley followed in the footsteps of his father, Judge James C. Beasley, Sr. Judge Beasley, Sr. also served as an assistant district attorney general in Shelby County and then as a judge on the 30th Judicial District Criminal Court. Judge Beasley, Sr. was part of the prosecutorial team that secured a guilty plea from James Earl Ray, the assassin of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Judge Beasley touched countless lives through his work on the bench over the years. His positive impact was highlighted in a 2018 WREG story about a woman who credited him with helping her turn her life around. She had appeared in his courtroom as a 19-year-old charged with purchasing a stolen car. Instead of giving her a two-year jail sentence, Judge Beasley gave her two years of probation. She went on to have a family and a solid career.
"Everytime I did something, I would think of him and think he gave me this opportunity," she said. "That was a defining moment in my life."
Judge Beasley was married to his wife Libba for close to 40 years and was the proud father to Beth and Sarah.

The funeral for Judge Beasley will be held March 5, 2021, at Grace Evangelical Church, 9750 Wolf River Road, Germantown. Visitation at the church is from noon to 2 p.m. and the memorial service is from 2 - 3 p.m. The family requests that all judges wear judicial robes and meet in the lobby at 1:45 p.m. for a processional.