Thursday, June 20 2013 12:09 AM EDT2013-06-20 04:09:02 GMT
The Albany Water Gas and light commission is preparing customers for a change that starts soon for those who pay with debit or credit cards. WG&L leaders say the utility is paying $20,000 dollars a monthMore >>
The Albany Water Gas and light commission is preparing customers for a change that starts soon for those who pay with debit or credit cards.More >>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 11:41 PM EDT2013-06-20 03:41:18 GMT
An Albany man who was born when Woodrow Wilson was president celebrated his birthday today. Century Pines Assisted Living Center threw a party for resident Charles Walker who turned 101 today. Walker wasMore >>
An Albany man who was born when Woodrow Wilson was president celebrated his birthday today.More >>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 11:34 PM EDT2013-06-20 03:34:54 GMT
For years, the area right across the street from the RiverQuarium has been rundown, but that's changing. A couple of businesses are thriving there. The new art park is open, and a sidewalk improvementMore >>
For years, the area right across the street from the RiverQuarium has been rundown, but that's changing.More >>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 11:20 PM EDT2013-06-20 03:20:33 GMT
Downtown Albany leaders are looking for ways to make sure the Flint Riverquarium remains an important part of downtown for years to come. Tonight, The Albany Dougherty Inner City Authority board began discussionsMore >>
Downtown Albany leaders are looking for ways to make sure the Flint Riverquarium remains an important part of downtown for years to come.More >>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 6:51 PM EDT2013-06-19 22:51:07 GMT
Ravi Mikel Givens was arrested Tuesday and charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. He is being held in the Dougherty County jail. Givens, who played ball at Westover and StetsonMore >>
Agents say that police responded to the apartment because of a burglar alarm. Officers found the back door broken open and went inside. That's where they detected a strong odor of marijuana, and saw pot in plain view.More >>
January 4, 2005
Albany-- It's been a decade since Georgia enacted a measure which requires pre-determined sentencing for any one convicted of committing one of the seven deadly sins.
Critics say the laws are causing the jails to become overcrowded, and forcing the state to spend too much money on medical care for the increasingly older prison population.
Dougherty County Superior Court judge Loring Gray minces no words about the state's two strikes law. "Every case and every defendant has to stand on their own merits, and if we're not allowed to exercise the kind of judicial discretion that the people have elected us to do, then that's an impairment of our judicial freedom," he says.
Georgia imposed one of the toughest criminal penalty laws a decade ago. It requires a minimum ten-year sentence for those who are convicted of any serious violent crime, and carries a life sentence without parole for the second offense.
"It's going to keep 17-year-old boys in prison for the rest of their life for committing two violent felonies. Now I'd rather have personally, the discretion to look that 17-year-old boy in the eye and see what kind of individual he is," Gray says.
Judge Gray says the problem starts with legislators who pass laws that are in line with their own political agendas. "They're constantly running for election, they go up there and pass what I call Rotary Club bills, and that's bills that allow then to come back and speak the Rotary Club and say 'I'm the toughest son-of-a-gun on crime you've ever seen. Look at the bill I passed.'"
Instead of putting emphasis on fixed sentences, Gray is hoping lawmakers will focus their attention on alternatives like diversion and detention centers. "And if the state would provide those and give us more alternatives, then we wouldn't have to fill up the hard beds in the prisons. Those are the expensive ones."
But until lawmakers agree to make changes, Gray and other judges will continue to impose sentences they may not necessarily agree with. Governor Sonny Perdue says he wants to give the state correction commissioner to time to see if a transition program for two-strikers will work.