District attorneys oversight commission now on Gov. Brian Kemp’s desk
An eight-member Prosecuting Attorneys Qualifications Commission has been created by the Georgia General Assembly.
ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - The Georgia House of Representatives approved a bill Monday that creates a new state board that would oversee locally elected district attorneys.
SB 92, which can be read here, creates an eight-member Prosecuting Attorneys Qualifications Commission.
The bill comes in the wake of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis’ ongoing investigation into alleged election interference from former president Donald Trump into the outcome of Georgia’s 2020 presidential election.
The Georgia House voted 97-77 on Monday to create the commission, and the bill is now on Gov. Brian Kemp’s desk.
The Georgia bill parallels efforts to remove prosecutors in Florida, Missouri, Indiana and Pennsylvania, as well as broader disputes nationwide over how certain criminal offenses should be charged. All continue anti-crime campaigns that Republicans ran nationwide last year, accusing Democrats of coddling criminals and acting improperly by refusing to prosecute whole categories of crimes including marijuana possession. All the efforts raise the question of prosecutorial discretion, a prosecutor’s decision of what cases to try or reject and what charges to bring.
Georgia Democrats opposed the measure, and said majority Republicans are seeking another way to impose their will on local Democratic voters.
Many Georgia Republicans are angered by Deborah Gonzalez, a district attorney who covers two counties including Athens, Kemp’s hometown. She’s under fire for refusal to prosecute marijuana crimes, an outflow of prosecutors working under her, and failure to meet court deadlines.
“That’s the whole point of this bill, is to restore public safety in places where you have rogue district attorneys who simply are not doing their job,” said Georgia Republican Rep. Houston Gaines of Athens.
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