Kemp to spend $110M to fight crime, help struggling courts
ATLANTA (WRDW/WAGT) - Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp will dedicate up to $110 million to fight violent crime and help courts dig out from under a case backlog caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, he said Thursday.
“No one benefits when there is a delay in justice,” Kemp said.
He said his administration collaborated with leaders the judicial branch and law enforcement on the solutions.
“Keeping Georgia communities safe is my top priority,” he said, “and we look forward to the positive impact this will have on our justice system.”
The funds will come from the American Rescue Plan. In addition to other measures, Kemp plans to establish a task force to assist district attorneys with their violent crime casework.
Funds will also be used:
- To provide additional, temporary court staff such as senior judges, bailiffs, court reporters, judicial officers, court staff and other necessary persons to address the case backlog created by COVID-19. In-person court proceedings including jury trials were on hold for months due to safety concerns.
- To contract with third-party locations to conduct court proceedings in larger facilities.
- To pay for additional temporary prosecutors, investigators, legal administrative positions and contract legal services.
- To provide additional circuit and conflict attorneys for the Georgia Public Defenders Council.
Georgia Chief Justice David E. Nahmias said the state’s judges appreciate the steps taken by Kemp.
“Courts in Georgia have worked hard to continue operating during the pandemic while adhering to public health guidelines,” he said. “Still, many cases were unable to move forward in a safe manner, especially those that require a jury trial. These cases must be resolved as courts also handle new cases being filed.”
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SPECIAL SESSION: The Supreme Court of Georgia held a special session Thursday to honor the Atlanta Braves and wish them well in their quest for a World Series victory against the Houston Astros. Gaveled in, all nine justices — sporting Braves baseball caps and pearls — filed into the courtroom. ”It’s been an unbelievable season, and we got the split in Houston,” Chief Justice David E. Nahmias said. “So let’s come home to Atlanta and win it all!” The Justices then rose from their seats at the bench and cheered, “Go, Braves!”
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