• A terrible system in Georgia required poor people who couldn’t pay small fines for misdemeanors to pay for their probation costs.

  • Stephen Bright, tireless civil rights advocate, leaving Southern Center

  • SCHR ED Sara Totonchi pens an op-ed for the Daily Report on why the state should not be allowed to block lawsuits using the concept of sovereign immunity in a case that is currently under consideration by the Georgia Supreme Court. SCHR filed an amicus brief along with GeorgiaCarry.Org, the Goldwater Institute, and the ADL - Anti-Defamation League.

  • Alabama’s death-penalty law is the only one of its kind in the United States. There, a judge may sentence someone to death against a jury’s recommendation.


    Elsewhere in the country, every other state with the death-penalty — all 30 of them — require unanimity from a jury in the phases of sentencing.


    But in Alabama, a judge can overrule jurors’ findings regardless of the decision and impose his the death-penalty on his own accord.


  • If one state best embodies all the irrationality, unreliability and arbitrariness of the death penalty in America in 2016, it is Alabama.

  • We are deeply disturbed by the killings of 37 year old Alton Sterling and 32 year old Philando Castile, both Black men fatally shot by police in Baton Rouge, LA, and St. Paul, MN, in the span of 48 hours. Both deaths were captured on camera. 

  • 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.


  • 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. 


  • 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.


  • 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.