Criminal Justice

Top Georgia leaders pitch plans to tap state treasury to spend on police

BY: - July 22, 2021

The sharp uptick in violent crime around Atlanta is prompting state leaders to create new ways to pay for more police officers on the streets and provide other resources for law enforcement. Republican Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan Thursday said he would ask the General Assembly to create a $250 million tax credit program for donations […]

Kemp names Verda Colvin to fill Georgia Supreme Court seat

BY: - July 20, 2021

Gov. Brian Kemp picked a Georgia Court of Appeals judge to become his newest appointee to the state Supreme Court, making Verda Colvin the second Black woman to serve on the state’s highest court. The Republican governor announced Tuesday that Colvin will fill the vacancy of the former Chief Justice Harold Melton, whose departure early […]

Governor wants lawmakers to take on crime in special session this fall

BY: - July 20, 2021

Gov. Brian Kemp wants lawmakers to take on crime around Atlanta this fall when they meet for a special session. At a special House public safety committee hearing Monday, the panelists said lawmakers could also increase the budget for state police around Atlanta, restrict local governments from establishing more moderate prosecution policies and institute better […]

Chuck Schumer: Congress should legalize weed on the federal level

BY: - July 14, 2021

WASHINGTON — The top Democrat in the U.S. Senate says decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level is a change that’s “long overdue,” and that he’s prioritizing that effort amid a growing number of states legalizing cannabis. To that end, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday unveiled a draft proposal for removing cannabis from the federal Controlled Substances […]

COMMENTARY

Bookman: Blame murder surge on pandemic-related rage and gun sales

BY: - July 8, 2021

The rising number of murders in the Atlanta metro region, some of them apparently random, has truly been alarming, and it’s important to try to grasp what its causes might be. If the phenomenon was local, then you might suspect that the causes and solutions are local as well. But it’s not. It’s occurring all […]

U.S. House backs select committee to probe Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol

BY: - July 1, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. House voted Wednesday to establish a select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection, in which a mob of Trump supporters attacked the Capitol. In a 222-190 vote that was almost entirely party-line, just two Republicans joined Democrats in passing the resolution, which calls for a probe into “one of the darkest days of […]

Georgia Supreme Court chief heads to big law firm as he leaves bench

BY: - June 29, 2021

Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold Melton will enter private practice with a national law firm after stepping down from the state’s highest court on Thursday. Troutman Pepper announced Tuesday that starting July 19, Melton will partner with the firm after serving three decades in state government with the last 16 years on the Georgia […]

Georgia Supreme Court justices back to bench as in-person cases resume

BY: - June 9, 2021

Wednesday’s return of in-person hearings before the Georgia Supreme Court featured back and forth exchanges with justices and attorneys separated by mere feet instead of communicating from miles away through computer screens. The return of oral arguments inside the downtown Atlanta courthouse for the first time in 15 months went off without evidence a global […]

Order in Georgia courtrooms to gavel back in as in-person hearings restart

BY: - June 9, 2021

For the first time since last spring, the Georgia Supreme Court’s nine justices, attorneys, and other courthouse regulars are set to return Wednesday morning for in-person hearings in a building barely used before the pandemic shifted proceedings online. Since the shutdown of the courtroom, the Supreme Court hosted virtual hearings that allowed the state’s highest […]

Ga. Supreme Court upholds state’s strict death penalty disability standard

BY: - June 2, 2021

The Georgia Supreme Court upheld a death sentence for a man convicted of killing his ex-fiance’s son while justices rejected a push by his defense attorneys to spare him from execution by proving he has an intellectual disability. Monday’s court ruling dealt a significant blow to Rodney Renia Young’s chances of having his death sentence […]

Floyd family presses Biden on police reform; Atlanta marchers pay respect

BY: and - May 26, 2021

One year after George Floyd’s killing by a Minneapolis police officer, protesters took to the streets of Atlanta and Floyd’s family traveled to Washington D.C., where lawmakers have been attempting to craft a bipartisan bill to overhaul the nation’s policing laws.  Congress failed to act by the anniversary of Floyd’s death Tuesday — the deadline […]

Arbery’s legacy to live on through citizen’s arrest repeal, mother says

BY: - May 10, 2021

Ahmaud Arbery’s mother said she’s hopeful overhauling the outdated law initially used by local prosecutors to justify her son’s killing will have a lasting impact by preventing more deaths. Wanda Cooper-Jones’ appeared alongside Gov. Brian Kemp as he signed legislation ending a 1863 statute that empowered white people to capture runaway slaves during the Civil […]