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Harvard Medical Professor would Take Firing Squad over Lethal Injection

Posted in News, Uncategorized

A professor of anesthesia at Harvard Medical School told the Washington Post that “Given these recurring problems with lethal injections, if I had to be executed, I would choose a firing squad.” That article and one in the ABA Journal details the problems with supply of lethal injection drugs throughout the nation.

Governor Hands Private Probation Companies a Rare Legislative Loss

Posted in Legislation, News

Governor Deal has vetoed House Bill 837, legislation that would have limited disclosure about private probation companies from open records requests. The Peach Pundit provides exclusive coverage on the veto in an article describing all of yesterday’s vetoes and in a specific post addressing HB 837. Greg Bluestein has also covered the veto. Why is… Continue Reading

The End of the Death Penalty / The Rise of Deaths in Prison

Posted in News

The Economist reports that executions are on the decline and that fewer Americans support the death penalty today than they did in 1994. In fact, most death penalty sentences are handed down in narrow areas of the country: Earlier this month a vote to repeal the death penalty narrowly failed in New Hampshire, but similar… Continue Reading

Unintended Consequences of Georgia’s New “Guns Everywhere” Law

Posted in News

Governor Deal has signed into law the aptly-named “guns everywhere law” that increases the number of places in the State that guns will be allowed. Those places include churches (though the church must “opt in,” which may make for an exciting deacon/vestry meeting at a church near you), bars, schools, and even certain places within… Continue Reading

The Judge as 13th Juror: Thoughts on the Fayette Rape Controversy

Posted in Georgia Court of Appeals, Motion for New Trial, News

Last week, a motion for new trial made news when Hon. Christopher J. McFadden granted a new trial after finding that the verdict was “strongly against the weight of the evidence.” The State’s reaction was three-fold. First, it appealed the decision. Secondly, the State made comments in the press. Third, the State moved to recuse… Continue Reading

Where Fundamentalism and the Law Meet Somebody is Headed to Prison

Posted in News, Opinions and Analysis

Legislators in Virginia are contemplating changes to the law in response to MacDonald v. Moose (4th Cir. 2013), a case that struck down Virginia’s law that prohibited non-genital sex generally. Specifically, legislation has been introduced that would make it a felony for an adult to engage in non-genital sex with a minor between age 15… Continue Reading

Southern Center Files Suit in Cordele Circuit, Again, for State of Indigent Defense There

Posted in News

The AJC reports that The Southern Center for Human Rights has filed suit against GPDSC, its director, the Circuit Public Defender, the District Attorney and others for the state of indigent defense in that circuit. The suit is brought on behalf of 8 indigent defendants, juvenile and adults individually and as representatives of a class… Continue Reading

Atlanta Can’t “Rise Up” to Fix its Jail

Posted in News

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Fulton County Sheriff may be held in contempt over the condition of the Fulton County Jail located in Atlanta. For the past several years, the Fulton County Jail has been under the supervision of the federal courts pursuant to a lawsuit involving inhumane conditions there. Things don’t appear to… Continue Reading

Deadline Extended For January Appellate Practice Luncheon

Posted in News

On January 10, 2014, at noon, the Appellate Practice Section will host a luncheon at the Georgia Bar’s midyear meeting, at the Intercontinental Buckhead Hotel. The deadline for the early registration rate for lunch has been extended until January 1, 2014. The price for the luncheon until then will be $35. After that, the price… Continue Reading

Ct. of Appeals Judge Carla McMillian’s Ten Tips on Practice

Posted in Georgia Court of Appeals, News

Judge Carla McMillian’s campaign for re-election is in full swing. The Augusta press ran a full interview last month. And Judge McMillian took some time out to speak to the Appellate Practice Section’s monthly luncheon, where she reflected on a year on the Court and shared her top ten lessons and tips from her time as… Continue Reading

Court Reporters and Digital Audio Recording: Time for a Change?

Posted in News, Opinions and Analysis

My new favorite law blog is Judge Richard Kopf’s Hercules and the Umpire. Lately, it’s been the first place I click on my reader. His blog is conversational and offers a view of the Federal Court from the other side of the bench. A recent post of his was particularly spot on. It begins “For… Continue Reading

How to Defeat the State’s New Pre-trial Appellate Rights

Posted in Georgia Court of Appeals, News, Supreme Court of Georgia

HB 349 has been the subject of much discussion for its sentencing innovations. However, nestled within it are some significant changes to the appellate code. This post will familiarize you with the appellate provisions of HB 349 and provide some tips to get around them. Pre-HB 349 Under the soon to be old law, any… Continue Reading

Ray Lewis, Facebook, and the Justice System

Posted in Attorney-Client Relationship, News

Ray Lewis’s retirement has made for an interesting time to be a criminal defense lawyer. Many of us who defend people for a living lead two lives. In one, we are in and out of jails, explaining things to clients. We are in the hallway huddled with families after a loved one was led out… Continue Reading

Video Interview: Discussing Gun Control & the Second Amendment in the Supreme Court with LXBN TV

Posted in News, Opinions and Analysis

Following up on my post on the subject, I had the chance to speak with Colin O’Keefe of LXBN regarding just how far gun control can go under the Second Amendment and when this was last tested by our country’s judicial system. In the interview, I discuss Heller v. District of Columbia, the last Second Amendment… Continue Reading

How Far Could Gun Control Constitutionally Go?

Posted in News, Opinions and Analysis

In light of recent events, gun control is the subject of discussion. My practice touches upon guns. Generally it arises in the context of clients who have been accused or convicted of being felons in possession of a firearm or of being in possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime. I have… Continue Reading

New SCOG Opinion Sets Out Rules for Voir Dire in Death Penalty Cases

Posted in News, Opinions and Analysis

A recent Georgia Supreme Court case on jury selection provides a framework for determining what a case’s subject matter is. There is a fine line between asking juror to prejudge the facts and figuring out if jurors cannot be fair. A few words about the problem in the case first. Full disclosure, I was amicus counsel… Continue Reading

JQC Zaps Another Magistrate Judge

Posted in News

Robin McDonald of the Fulton Daily Report notes in a story today that Murray County Magistrate Judge Bryant Cochran resigned his post as Chief Magistrate Judge. His resignation letter departs from they typical fare of this genre — quivery sharky handwritten script, tendered to Richard Hyde. He doubled the average sentence length to two whole… Continue Reading