SCHR Statement on Senate Bill 63
On the first day of Black History Month, the Georgia State Senate passed SB 63, which is an unconstitutional abridgment of the right to free speech, the presumption of innocence and the prohibition against unreasonable bail. The proposal represents the culmination of years of local and state actors stoking fear by amplifying crime wave narratives, despite crime trending downward.
If passed by the House, the collateral consequences of this bill will not only exacerbate the crises in our jails, but will also harm communities by barring people from receiving critical bail assistance from charities, churches, and other direct service providers.
Given the history of bail funds in many civil and human rights movements in Atlanta, SB 63 represents another violent attack on the right to political dissent, which, unfortunately aligns with Atlanta’s current repression of social movements that challenge the criminal legal system.
Tiffany Williams Roberts
Public Policy Director