Criminal Justice

Lawmakers seek sex predator tracking bill that’s constitutional

BY: - January 27, 2020

Georgia legislators aim to close a loophole that’s now preventing the state from using ankle monitors to track more than 400 sex offenders. Some House and Senate lawmakers are backing legislation that would give judges the ability to impose lifetime electronic monitoring as part of someone’s sentence if a sex offender is deemed to have […]

Lapsed law to assist women victims of violence ‘a real loss for survivors.’

BY: - January 27, 2020

WASHINGTON — For decades, the Violence Against Women Act was an issue that could transcend partisan politics on Capitol Hill. Not anymore. The landmark law — first passed in 1994 to protect victims of domestic crimes — funds programs like rape crisis centers, shelters and legal services to victims of domestic abuse. But after several […]

Georgia’s state agencies nearly recovered from last year’s cyberattack

BY: - January 27, 2020

Updated Jan. 28 About six months later and $750,000 poorer, Georgia is nearly back to normal after online attacks that blocked law enforcement officers and the public from accessing electronic records used to settle legal questions. But the money went to pay cyberattack insurance deductibles, not ransoms. Over the last few months, all Georgia State […]

Kemps, law enforcement escalate sex trafficking fight

BY: - January 23, 2020

Georgia’s first couple has made a priority of fighting the selling of children for sex almost since the day they entered the governor’s mansion in 2019. But it’s the kind of evil that needs fighting — and healing — from a number of angles. Gov. Brian Kemp and First Lady Marty Kemp announced this week […]

Lawmakers to tackle ‘Raise the age’ bill to charge 17-year-olds as juveniles

BY: - January 6, 2020

Floyd County Juvenile Court Judge Greg Price says some of his fellow jurists remain hesitant to support changing Georgia’s law to let 17-year-olds face justice through the juvenile court system. Juvenile court judges don’t object in principle to increasing the age to 18 from 17, when suspected criminals are automatically charged as an adult. Instead, […]

COMMENTARY

Bookman: Celebrate loosening of purse strings to study gun violence

BY: - December 19, 2019

‘Tis the season for celebration, so let’s celebrate: For the first time in more than 20 years, Congress has agreed to finance research into one of the leading causes of death in the United States, a killer that takes more than 100 American lives a day and almost 40,000 annually. Now, $25 million isn’t much […]

Senate study panel declines to take a stand on nonviolent felon voting

BY: - December 19, 2019

A Georgia Senate committee considering loosening voting restrictions for nonviolent felons recommended Wednesday that the law should remain unchanged for now. That prompted quick criticism from some criminal justice reform organizations that hoped lawmakers would recommend restoring voting rights for some people convicted of nonviolent felonies. The committee’s senators met several times across Georgia since […]

Expect insurers, trial lawyers to battle over proposed state seat belt rules

BY: - December 11, 2019

A state Senate study committee that wants to require everyone in a car to buckle up is also recommending a new law to allow seat belt use to be presented as evidence in an injury court case. The debate over the seat belt evidence ban pits trial lawyers and crash victims suing for compensation for […]

U.S. Supreme Court might sidestep a big Second Amendment fight 

BY: - December 3, 2019

WASHINGTON — A high-profile gun rights case argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday might be dismissed with little fanfare.  The justices heard an hour of arguments in the case that challenges now-defunct New York City gun restrictions. The case has been billed as the biggest gun rights lawsuit in a decade, with the […]

Georgia Senate study committee to push for tougher state seat belt law

BY: - November 26, 2019

All back-seat passengers in Georgia will have to buckle up if a state Senate study committee’s recommendation becomes law. Adults riding in the back are not currently required to use seat belts under Georgia law. The driver and front-seat passenger are, as are minors riding in the back seat. “I think this is something that […]

Ga. lawmakers consider raising age for juveniles to be charged as adults

BY: - November 18, 2019

Georgia is one of the few states that put 17-year-olds convicted of crimes on a path to adult prisons and state lawmakers are considering raising the age to 18. But some lawmakers on the state House Juvenile Justice Committee say they worry that change might let violent young offenders off the hook. “Raise the Age” […]

Georgia executes man for 1994 murder, court rejects DNA test plea

BY: - November 14, 2019

A 52-year-old Georgia man was executed late Wednesday night amid mounting pressure for DNA testing on evidence collected more than two decades ago. Ray “Jeff” Cromartie was executed at 10:59 p.m. Wednesday at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Center in Jackson, where the state’s death row is housed. The execution was carried out after the […]