Lawyers for death row inmate Warren Lee Hill, Junior, went before the Supreme Court of Georgia today trying to get the state’s secrecy law about its execution drug ruled unconstitutional.
The law lets state officials withhold all information about the source of the execution drug it plans to use. Hill’s lawyers say they need information to decide whether to mount a claim that the drug might cause needless suffering. The Attorney General’s office argues that the secrecy laws protect the pharmacies.
The chief justice of Georgia’s Supreme Court says it remains too difficult for low-income people to access the courts.
“Georgia’s judicial system is sound and strong for those who can afford a lawyer,” said Chief Justice Hugh Thompson. “Too many Georgians can't afford legal representation and too many go without civil legal services.”
He delivered the message Wednesday before a joint session of the Legislature during the annual State of the Judiciary address.
Thompson said courts are seeing more and more people representing themselves.
The Georgia Supreme Court sided with Gov. Nathan Deal and Kia Motors in an open records battle over hiring documents for a Kia manufacturing plant in West Point. In the lawsuit, several unemployed, union auto workers accused Kia and state officials of creating a screening and hiring process that excluded union workers.
Start-up charter schools in the Atlanta Public School district won’t be required to help the school system pay off more than $500 million dollars in pension debt. That’s after Monday’s unanimous ruling by the Georgia Supreme Court.
On Tuesday, June 25, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Section 4 laid out a formula for deciding the states, including Georgia, that are covered by the pre-clearance rules. That means Georgia had to get pre-approval from the Justice Department for changes to its political subdivisions or election rules.
The Georgia Supreme Court Monday unanimously upheld the murder conviction of former DeKalb Co. Deputy Sheriff Derrick Yancey.
Yancey was convicted in 2010 of shooting to death his wife and a day laborer. Yancey claimed the hired hand shot his wife while stealing money from her, and that he shot the day laborer in self-defense.
But blood spatter evidence, among other clues, pointed to Yancey as the culprit.
He fled the area, and was later found in Belize. Upon his return to Atlanta for trial, a jury found him guilty.
On Monday, April 15, the Georgia Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion that could have major effects on the state's system of providing defense attorneys for impoverished criminal suspects.
The high court ruled that co-defendants charged together in a criminal case could not be sent to the same public defender's office--if one of the lawyers in that office said he or she found a conflict of interest in having the office defend more than one person in the same case.
On Monday, the Supreme Court of Georgia accepted federal judge Richard Story’s request to address the question of whether the governor exceeded his authority and violated the state constitution when he removed six members of the DeKalb Board of Education.
Within a half hour of the scheduled 7pm execution of Georgia death row inmate Warren Lee Hill, Jr., two courts issued stays of execution.
In an email to WABE, Brian Kammer, one of Hill’s attorneys, says one stay came from the Georgia Court of Appeals. Kammer says the other came from the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.
Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Carol Hunstein listens as House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) introduces her for her annual State of the Judiciary speech to a joint session of the Legislature on February 7, 2013.
The Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court urged Georgia lawmakers to move ahead with a major overhaul of the system for treating and punishing young offenders.
In her annual State of the Judiciary address at the State Capitol on Thursday, February 7th, Chief Justice Carol Hunstein said Georgia’s current get-tough approach to young offenders is expensive and ineffective. And she said most kids in trouble have not committed violent crimes.
On Monday, Feb. 4, the Georgia Supreme Court issued two major opinions on crime and punishment. Both decisions were unanimous.
One upheld the state's process of changing the drugs it uses in executions. The other decision dismissed the charges against a man accused of the kidnapping, sexual abuse, and murder of a young girl. The Supreme Court found the suspect's right to a speedy trial had been violated.