A newly-released report addresses how superior court judges in Fulton County are handling cases involving repeat offenders.
Channel 2′s Michael Seiden was in Northeast Atlanta Tuesday, he went through the 2022 Repeat Offender Commission Report, which was created to address the increasing issue of repeat offenders in the city of Atlanta.
The 2022 report focused on nearly 900 repeat offenders who accounted for a thousand felony crimes.
Seiden reviewed the report and decided to take a closer look at how each superior court judge handled the cases.
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According to the data, superior court judges Kimberly Adams, Eric Dunaway, Robert McBurney and Shakura Inghram presided over at least 16 cases, which resulted in the most prison sentences.
But other superior court judges, like Emily Richardson and Jane Barwick, sentenced repeat offenders to prison about 10% of the time.
Superior court judge Belinda Edwards, who presided over 16 cases, never sentenced any of the repeat offenders to prison time.
Seiden reached out to a spokesperson for the judge, but has yet to hear back.
He also talked to neighbors along the BeltLine Tuesday about what they thought about the report.
Atlanta residents like Lauren Miller and Mike Cloud said that when it comes to the criminal justice system, they believe felons deserve a second chance to prove they can become productive members of society.
“Yeah, I think you should. I think if you’re rehabilitated,” Miller said.
Cloud said mistakes happen, but when it comes to repeat offenders, a person with three or more felony convictions, that more of an issue.
“Habitual violators, that’s a problem. Absolutely,” Cloud said. “I don’t know, the court system needs to be tweaked on that one.”
Miller said habitual violators do deserve punishment.
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“A crime deserves punishment, and you can’t just let someone out right away,” Miller said. “They will keep doing it if there’s no punishment.”
Seiden has reached out to the Atlanta Repeat Offenders Commission to request the names of each defendant and the exact crimes they were convicted of. It’s also important to note that out of the nearly 900 repeat offenders identified in the report, the commission only looked at the cases that head been adjudicated, which accounted for about at third of them.
In some of the cases, judges opted for probation or gave credit for time served.