Of Counsel

Legal Notes on Georgia and The South

Supreme Court Won’t Touch Nichols–For Now

Posted by Maggie on December 1, 2007

The Georgia Supreme Court ruled yesterday on the Fulton DA’s motion to remove Judge Fuller from the Nichols case. The talk among the legal community has been that the Court wouldn’t hear it because it was filed incorrectly. And that’s what they did. I’ve never quite understood why courts refuse to get involved if at all possible, but I think it’s the right thing to do here. Procedure is everything when you’re being watched under a microscope.

Chief Justice Sears wrote separately on the general requirements of Judges and counsel. She says that more complex cases have been tried in the state without these problems and delays. However, she notes that the case has not yet reached a point where the Court must intervene. (I agree completely.) She then counsels all attorneys and the Judge to do their best to sit down and try to resolve this case as quickly and fairly as possible. Which is exactly what I’ve been saying for weeks now.

It remains to be seen what the response will be. It appears that it’s too late for prosecutors to file a proper motion to recuse the Judge and they may have no other way to further delay the case. (Don’t forget, the delays have not all been because of the defense, last year’s delays were due to prosecutors dumping a huge amount of evidence on the defense right before trial.) If the PD’s will do what it takes to get the attorneys paid, this case may actually get tried. (Or, you know, the DA could take the death penalty off the table and there’d be a plea in five minutes. Heaven forbid they do one thing to make this case easier.)

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