• The Southern Center for Human Rights represents individuals on death row at trial, on appeal, and in the post-conviction review process.
  • The legal system is so complex and contains so many procedural traps that a lay person accused of a crime can no more navigate it alone than a passenger can fly a plane in the absence of the pilot.
  • The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world, and within the United States, the top 7 states with the highest incarceration rates are all Southern states.
  • Contrary to what many people believe, there are debtors’ prisons throughout the United States where people are imprisoned because they are too poor to pay fines and fees.

The Southern Center for Human Rights

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RECENT NEWS

  • 7th June 2016

    A Grantville Municipal Court judge on Tuesday canceled the $1,590 fine she had levied against a 52-year-old woman for not putting a decal on her license plate.

     

    Linda Ford was put on probation in February because the judge in the small Coweta County city said Ford owed the money. By Tuesday she had paid $300 toward the fine, which would have totaled $1,722 with additional state-mandated and probation supervision fees.

     

  • 3rd June 2016

    Yale Law School’s Commencement took place Monday, May 23, 2016. SCHR's President and Senior Counsel Stephen Bright addressed the class of 2016. To read his remarks, click here. You can also watch Steve's remarks below, which began at 1:20:24. 

     

  • 2nd June 2016

    Go read the story by my colleague Rhonda Cook about the travails of Linda Ford, a Coweta County resident who forgot to put the decal on her license plate proving that she had updated her vehicle registration. Ford  was stopped by an officer, given a ticket and ordered to appear in Grantville Municipal Court.

     

  • 29th March 2016

    For the 16th year in a row, SCHR was a daily presence at the Georgia General Assembly. There were major victories this year, including the comprehensive Criminal Justice Reform Bill, an increased budget for Georgia’s public defender system, and reforms on grand jury procedures in police use of force cases. There were setbacks, the gutting of Georgia’s judicial watchdog agency. We helped stop several dangerous pieces of legislation, including a bill that would have mandated collection of DNA from every person arrested for “certain serious felonies” before their innocence or guilt was determined.

  • 1st February 2016

    A federal judge in Rome has barred the city of Calhoun from detaining indigent defendants in misdemeanor or minor traffic cases in jail for as long as a week simply because they cannot afford a cash bond.

    The injunction by U.S. District Judge Harold Murphy labeled as unconstitutional the city's practice of jailing indigent defendants accused of city ordinance violations and other misdemeanors who cannot raise enough money to pay preset cash bonds. The city routinely releases defendants who are awaiting adjudication of misdemeanor charges and have enough cash to post bond.