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Is banishment constitutional?

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January 8, 2008

Albany - The Georgia Supreme Court is deciding if banishment is constitutional. It's not uncommon for judges to kick criminals out of their counties.

Chief Dougherty Superior Court Judge Loring Gray says he's done it before, but now he's changed his philosophy and will only banish from Dougherty and surrounding counties when it's necessary to keep criminals away from their victims.

He said, "It's gotten to be just a little bit ridiculous to banish them from everywhere except for Echols county or Long County, those less populous counties. Why should we visit our troubles on them when the total intent of it is to get physical separation between the defendant and his environment or the defendant and his victims?"

The case was brought before the Supreme Court because a Douglas County man, convicted of aggravated stalking and aggravated assault of his wife, was banished from every county except Toombs while on probation.

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