Of Counsel

Legal Notes on Georgia and The South

Is It a Full Moon or Something?

Posted by Maggie on November 30, 2007

News has been a little slow the last few weeks, not nearly enough juicy tidbits for the blog. Except today it all went crazy.

A Supreme Court Justice is fined by the State Ethics Commission. (It’s unclear from the article what exactly the violation is, but it’s something from her 2004 campaign.) A young mother in Augusta stabbed her two small children to death. (The article notes that police are unsure why. A guess: she’s crazy.) The Atlanta PD has known for 7 years that the husband of one of their officers is paying young girls for sex and taking pictures, but did nothing. (The officer has been suspended, the FBI has filed federal charges against the husband. Not immediately clear that they can file anything against the wife. Can you obstruct evidence if there’s not an open case?) The State Ethics Commission has voted to open investigations against 6 current and former state lawmakers and candidates for not filing campaign financial reports after an AJC piece earlier this year. Atlanta’s murder rate is up this year. The police blame the disbanding of the Narcotics unit (which was broken up after they did too much shooting themselves) and a local gang. I’m not sure those reasons are terribly valid, though we never see reports of murders in Atlanta involving low- or mid-level drug dealers, so I couldn’t say for sure. They do cite meth replacing crack for killings. From what I know, meth-fueled killings would be far more likely than the crack-fueled killings we used to hear so much about. (Crack gets you high for about 10 minutes. Meth can last hours, days, etc.) There is some crazy stuff going on with the Jefferson police force since their former chief was indicted. Yet another in the string of law enforcement crimes that have been reported in Georgia in the last several months. The Georgia Supreme Court will hear arguments Monday on the denial of open records requests by police for two old murder cases. The Athens Banner Herald claims they must release the records on the 1992 and 2001 unsolved cases, the police claim it’s still an open investigation.

And finally, following up on the sex offender residency restrictions, the AG is now asking the Court if the law is only unconstitutional for property owners or if it applies to everyone. I would argue that since any of the offenders could purchase property in the future and then be ousted, that it applies to everyone. I don’t see it being the case that you can selectively apply this kind of law. I hope prosecutors are backing off until the waters are clear.

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