Tuesday, June 18 2013 12:32 AM EDT2013-06-18 04:32:02 GMT
The United Way of Southwest Georgia honors more than a dozen organizations for their leadership in supporting United Way agencies. United Way raised about 1.1-million dollars this year. That's up slightlyMore >>
The United Way of Southwest Georgia honors more than a dozen organizations for their leadership in supporting United Way agencies.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 12:31 AM EDT2013-06-18 04:31:27 GMT
Dougherty County School Board members want property owners to know, they won't raise your taxes despite another tight budget year. Monday night Board members held a public hearing to give people a chanceMore >>
Dougherty County School Board members want property owners to know, they won't raise your taxes despite another tight budget year.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 12:23 AM EDT2013-06-18 04:23:09 GMT
The opening of Albany's new airport terminal remains on schedule despite a delay in the ceremonial opening. Travelers will begin using the new facility at Southwest Georgia Regional Airport two weeks fromMore >>
The opening of Albany's new airport terminal remains on schedule despite a delay in the ceremonial opening.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 12:03 AM EDT2013-06-18 04:03:40 GMT
A Georgia girl remains hospitalized tonight with serious burns following a boat explosion on Lake Lanier. Apparently, a fuel leak led to the blast. Cell phone video captured by boaters shows a boat burningMore >>
A Georgia girl remains hospitalized tonight with serious burns following a boat explosion on Lake Lanier. Apparently, a fuel leak led to the blast.More >>
Monday, June 17 2013 11:59 PM EDT2013-06-18 03:59:55 GMT
Police are asking banks to be on the lookout for a woman who has cashed thousands of dollars in forged checks. So far, she's hit Colony Banks in Albany, Valdosta, Moultrie, and Sylvester. Sylvester PoliceMore >>
Police hope to stop a successful forger who's gotten away with thousands of dollars so far by cashing fraudulent checks at multiple south Georgia banks.More >>
May 24, 2005
Albany- Murder defendants may no longer have to wear visible shackles during court.
"This is somebody who has nothing left to lose, and we saw with the Nichols case what an unarmed person can do given an opportunity," says Darton Political Science Professor Roger Marietta.
Marietta says the supreme court is over thinking whether leg irons and handcuffs will influence a jury's decision and jeopardizing courtroom safety.
"At some point I think we need to be prejudice in favor of the victims," Marietta says.
The U. S. Supreme Court banned shackling after a Missouri man was visibly restrained during his sentencing. In a seven to two vote justices said the presiding judge did not determine whether he was an escape or security risk.
"They had his restraints hidden to the jury in the same case that during the penalty phase they had them visible," says defense attorney Howard Stiller.
Howard Stiller says he understands why the high court made their ruling, but says there are other ways to maintain safety without violating a defendant's rights.
"I think you can have your cake and eat it too. There's such great high-tech equipment now-a-days hat most police departments generally have anyway that you could make sure the defendant stays in place if there is some kind of security concern," says Stiller.
"There's lots of alternatives to that sort of thing. They have what they call a stun belt. It fits under the clothing, it has a remote control, and someone such as a deputy in the courtroom can exercise control over a defendant that way very easily," says Superior Court Judge Loring Gray.
Gray says he believes restraints are necessary in some situations, but prefers using invisible ones if they must be used. He says Missouri judges made the mistake not making it clear as to why they allowed the defendant to be shackled.
"They just said well we felt it was appropriate so that the jurors would feel safer. Here you know the guy is going away to the penitentiary for life at least. That's the other alternative. I don't see how that would make the jury feel any safer," says Gray.
Judge Gray says the ruling is very case-specific and he doesn't think it will have a large impact on the nation's court system. However, he does believe it will open the doors for more defendants to bring up similar complaints.
The ruling will not effect the conviction in the Missouri case. The defendant will have to go through another sentencing proceeding.