Criminal Justice

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Ahmaud Arbery’s mother said she’s hopeful overhauling the outdated law initially used by local prosecutors to justify her son’s killing will have a lasting impact by preventing more deaths.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 […]

Decision time for police funding and other law and order legislation

BY: - May 7, 2021

Gov. Brian Kemp is set to sign a controversial bill to block local governments from slashing police budgets Friday as a Monday deadline looms for him to sign, veto or get out of the way of legislation passed in 2021.  The legislation aims to preempt local governments from reducing law enforcement budgets by more than […]

Federal hate crimes charges put men accused in Arbery killing in bind

BY: - April 29, 2021

A federal hate crimes case against the three white men accused of killing a 25-year-old Black man in Glynn County is a significant blow to the defendants’ chances to avoid punishment in the highly publicized case, legal experts said.  The U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday that a federal grand jury indicted Travis McMichael, 35, […]

Democrats push federal background checks on ammunition sales

BY: - April 21, 2021

WASHINGTON—Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida and Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut on Tuesday reintroduced legislation that would require instant background checks to prevent individuals with a criminal record from illegally purchasing ammunition. The measure backed by the Democrats, known as Jaime’s Law, is named in honor of Jaime Guttenberg, a student who died in the Marjory Stoneman […]

Georgians praise murder conviction in George Floyd case as win for justice

BY: - April 20, 2021

This story was updated 9:08 a.m. April 21 with reaction from Gov. Brian Kemp.  The Georgia Democratic Party and ACLU are among those praising a Minnesota jury’s verdict Tuesday afternoon after it found a former Minneapolis police officer guilty of murdering George Floyd. The Hennepin County jury deliberated 10 hours before finding Derek Chauvin guilty […]

Georgia law enforcement gears up for potential fallout from Chauvin verdict

BY: - April 20, 2021

Georgia law enforcement agencies are on high-alert this week in anticipation of a jury’s verdict in the trial of the former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin charged with the 2020 death of George Floyd. The Atlanta Police Department, Georgia State Patrol, Fulton County Sheriff’s Office and other agencies are preparing for more protests over violence […]

Biden administration to suggest model ‘red flag’ gun laws for states

BY: - April 7, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice is set to distribute model “red flag” legislation to states so they can enact laws to allow courts to temporarily remove a firearm from a person who is distressed, according to senior Biden administration officials. “The president will not wait for Congress to act before the administration takes our […]

Police funding bill passes as other contentious criminal justice bills falter

BY: and - April 1, 2021

Lawmakers considered several measures this session that critics argued were tone deaf and ignored the pleas for police reform that followed 2020’s string of high-profile shootings of Black Americans.  By the time the ceremonial tattered papers flew shortly after midnight, legislators had backed a bill that would prohibit city and county officials from cutting their […]