Attorney: Too many innocent people in jail - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Attorney: Too many innocent people in jail

Attorney Jim Finkelstein Attorney Jim Finkelstein
D. A. Greg Edwards D. A. Greg Edwards
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

An Albany attorney says he sees too many innocent people locked in the Dougherty County jail, only to have the charges dismissed. Just Wednesday, a federal judge ruled one man's false arrest lawsuit can go forward.

Judge Louis Sands denied the officer's request for immunity from the lawsuit. Attorney Jim Finkelstein says it's important for this case to go forward.

17 year old Richard Hayes was arrested October 22nd, 2009, and charged with aggravated assault and gang participation. The warrant says Hayes was with Southside Bloods gang members when one of them fired shots at a rival gang member.

Hayes was held in the Dougherty County jail until March 9, 2011, when the charges were dropped.

Attorney Jim Finkelstein said, "You are talking about a boy that's never been convicted of anything in his life. He spent a year and four months locked up in jail. From age 17 until he was almost 19."

Judge Louis Sands ruled APD Investigator Charles Flowers had "A total lack of probable cause" to arrest Hayes, and that "malice may be inferred."

District Attorney Greg Edwards said since the Hayes case, his office has worked to speed up prosecutions of people being held in the jail.

Edwards said, "So we've actually made great improvements, but certainly volume is an issue."

Finkelstein hopes this case shines light on the problem of people being held for long periods on charges that are later dropped. "It starts with the city commission recognizing that there is a serious, serious problem with the Investigations Department of the Albany Police Department. And I don't say that lightly."

Finkelstein said that he will try to schedule the lawsuit to go to trial as soon as possible, but work for a settlement. The lawsuit asks for damages of at least one thousand dollars a day for the 16 months Hayes was in jail. Money Finkelstein said could be better spent by city leaders. 

The Albany Police Department told us to contact the City Attorney about this lawsuit ruling. City Attorney Nathan Davis said the city and the Albany Police still feel confident they will prevail at trail.

Officer Charles Flowers is still employed by the Albany Police Department.

 

 


Copyright  2014 WALB.  All rights reserved.

  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Residents prepare for storm chances over holiday weekend

    Residents prepare for storm chances over holiday weekend

    Saturday, May 26 2018 5:21 PM EDT2018-05-26 21:21:51 GMT
    James Lawrence. (Source: WALB)James Lawrence. (Source: WALB)

    With Alberto expected to impact Southwest Georgia, you can never be too prepared when it comes to the safety of you and your family. As the rain and thunderstorms move through our area, Albany residents say their holiday plans are changing.

    More >>

    With Alberto expected to impact Southwest Georgia, you can never be too prepared when it comes to the safety of you and your family. As the rain and thunderstorms move through our area, Albany residents say their holiday plans are changing.

    More >>
  • Albany town hall meeting held to tackle diabetes awareness

    Albany town hall meeting held to tackle diabetes awareness

    Saturday, May 26 2018 5:17 PM EDT2018-05-26 21:17:40 GMT
    City leaders held a town hall to discuss diabetes in South Georgia. (Source: WALB)City leaders held a town hall to discuss diabetes in South Georgia. (Source: WALB)
    City leaders held a town hall to discuss diabetes in South Georgia. (Source: WALB)City leaders held a town hall to discuss diabetes in South Georgia. (Source: WALB)

    Dougherty County is ranked 3-percent higher than the national average of people diagnosed with diabetes. 

    More >>

    Dougherty County is ranked 3-percent higher than the national average of people diagnosed with diabetes. 

    More >>
  • Saturday's rain didn't keep boaters from the water

    Saturday's rain didn't keep boaters from the water

    Saturday, May 26 2018 5:15 PM EDT2018-05-26 21:15:40 GMT
    The Kinchafoonee Creek. (Source: WALB)The Kinchafoonee Creek. (Source: WALB)
    The Kinchafoonee Creek. (Source: WALB)The Kinchafoonee Creek. (Source: WALB)

    Despite the scattered showers, we saw Saturday some people just couldn't resist hitting the water. In the morning, the Kinchafoonee Creek was at a good water level for boaters. 

    More >>

    Despite the scattered showers, we saw Saturday some people just couldn't resist hitting the water. In the morning, the Kinchafoonee Creek was at a good water level for boaters. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly