Headlines

  • Suit alleges state is creating modern-day debtor's prisons by jailing parents who don't pay

  • Dear Friend of Justice,
     
    Since 1976, SCHR has defended individuals sentenced to death, represented prisoners and detainees subjected to inhumane conditions of confinement, and otherwise responded to requests for help from those who have been wronged, abused, tortured, injured, and denigrated by the criminal justice system in the South.  

  • The state public defender agency has agreed to hire new lawyers to ensure that inmates seeking to appeal their convictions have qualified counsel to represent them, according to a settlement reached this week. The Georgia Public Defender Standards Council's board voted unanimously Friday to approve a legal agreement that calls for the agency to hire up to seven full-time appellate lawyers and monitor the caseloads of the lawyers to make sure they don't get out of hand. The agency now has two full-time lawyers and one part-time lawyer handling appeals.

  • A class-action challenge to the fairness of the state's indigent defense system on behalf of nearly 200 convicted offenders seeking appellate counsel will go to trial next week in Fulton County Superior Court.

    The Dec. 15 bench trial before Judge Jerry W. Baxter will pit ardent indigent defense advocates against the cash-strapped Georgia Public Defender Standards Council. It is expected to last about a week.

  • It may not be a crime to be poor, but it can land you behind bars if you also are behind on your child-support payments.
    Thousands of so-called “deadbeat” parents are jailed each year in the U.S. after failing to pay court-ordered child support — the vast majority of them for withholding or hiding money out of spite or a feeling that they’ve been unfairly gouged by the courts.

  • Spurning the death penalty, a judge sentenced a Pike County man to life in prison without parole [on July 14, 2011] for murdering a 73-year-old woman, perhaps ending a case that has epitomized the funding issues plaguing the state's public defender system.

    Superior Court Judge Tommy Hankinson imposed the sentence on Jamie Ryan Weis, who broke into Catherine King's home on Feb. 1, 2006, and then killed her after she returned from running errands. He struck her in the head, cracking her skull, and shot her twice with her own gun.

  • Suit claims that indigent parents who could be jailed for not paying child support should get state-funded lawyers

    Lawyers with the Southern Center for Human Rights on Tuesday sued state officials on behalf of indigent parents who fall behind on child support payments and are jailed without the benefit of an attorney.


  • Suit claims that indigent parents who could be jailed for not paying child support should get state-funded lawyers
    Lawyers with the Southern Center for Human Rights on Tuesday sued state officials on behalf of indigent parents who fall behind on child support payments and are jailed without the benefit of an attorney.


  • ATLANTA — Six Georgia parents who have spent time in jail over missed child support payments filed a class-action lawsuit Tuesday seeking to force the state to secure them lawyers.

    The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Fulton County Superior Court, said Georgia law bans authorities from jailing a parent who cannot pay child support. But it said the six plaintiffs haven’t had the opportunity to prove they can’t fulfill their obligations because they don’t have attorneys.

  • A Rome man who served time in the Floyd County Work Release Center after falling $3,000 behind on child support payments has filed a lawsuit against multiple state and local officials.

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