Of Counsel

Legal Notes on Georgia and The South

Today’s Nichols Update

Posted by Maggie on February 5, 2008

More follow-up on Judge Bodiford and his expertise with high-profile cases First the AJC fills out yesterday’s article and then The Daily Report chimes in. Both articles contain quotes from judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys on why Bodiford is a good fit. And the facts certainly seem to make him capable of handling the chaos of the Nichols case. Including the 1997 Toklas trial which involved:

nine lawyers and three defendants[.] And it had unexpected twists, including media swarming over attorneys’ houses, a Chattanooga television reporter nearly causing a mistrial by trying to interview prospective jurors, an Atlanta reporter with a book deal and a witness committing perjury.

That case also had a previous judge assigned and Bodiford had to take over. Good coverage in large part, although you’d be hard pressed to find an attorney willing to be quoted in print if they thought the Judge was no good.

Also in today’s Daily Report, two editorials on Nichols. One decrying the state of civil rights in Georgia’s criminal justice system. And the other calling out Stephen Bright for saying DA’s “have a blank check.” The latter makes a good point, since the budget crisis has affected the Prosecuting Council just like it’s affected the defense. However, the writer, the Dougherty circuit DA, also points out that the prosecutors were saved because the State took action. It’s unlikely GPDSC would get the same treatment these days from any state agency. I’d also point out that I can’t imagine any prosecution in a small, more rural circuit using the resources Fulton County DA is using on this case.

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