Some Red Flags About ‘Red Flag’ Laws

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Some Red Flags About ‘Red Flag’ Laws
Beth Alcazar – 09/24/2019

Some Red Flags About ‘Red Flag’ Laws

A terrible tragedy occurred in my home state of Alabama last month. As reported by the local news, a father and his son were involved in an argument that led to the 70-year-old father shooting his 45-year-old son in the chest in what he claims was self-defense.

Soon afterward, the Alabama chapter of Moms Demand Action shared the news — along with a comment — on social media. They posted:

’Investigators said James Adams and his son, Alfred Dewayne Adams, were involved in an argument Sunday night. They further stated they believe James told Alfred he was going to bed. Alfred then walked into the bedroom and James shot him in the chest. Some of the neighbors and some other family members can tell us about stuff that was happening through [sic] the years.’ This life could have been spared by utilizing a red flag law.

Some Questions

“This life could have been spared by utilizing a red flag law?” That’s quite a statement. And I wanted to post a few questions to Moms Demand Action. First of all, I wanted to ask: If the father truly used a weapon in self-defense, would a “red flag” law have disarmed him … and then spared the life of his violent son? Would the father be dead, then, in this particular situation? Beyond that, do “red flag” laws cover all weapons in the home? What if the suspect had decided to use a knife? Or what about prescription drugs or poisons? Does it cover a person’s bare hands and/or body? Could we confiscate those weapons, as well, whenever we feel there’s “some stuff that was happening through the years?”

Some Examples

And what about the terrible case in which a son killed his father and wounded his mother with a knife? Two months ago, in Arizona, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office reported that when the older couple returned home, “they noticed their 33-year-old son had consumed a large amount of beer. The parents argued with him over their drinking concern. He threw his phone at them and then went into the kitchen and grabbed two large knives. When he tried to stab his mother, his father intervened and attempted to restrain him while he was still in the kitchen. The son began attacking his dad. As the struggle moved from the kitchen into the living room, the son was able to stab his dad in the chest. The father collapsed to the floor.”

Or there’s this recent horror story from Illinois: A man in a Chicago suburb was arrested by local police after killing his own mother by stabbing her repeatedly with a samurai sword in the chest. Park Ridge Police had removed the murderer’s firearms two times, with the last time being in July 2019. So the suspect didn’t have a gun … but he still had evil intent. And he used whatever weapon he could find.

There’s also the atrocity from Nevada a few weeks ago in which a 36-year-old man bludgeoned a woman to death with a sledgehammer in what Las Vegas police said was a random attack at a laundromat.

I could go on. But I won’t. Perhaps you see the point.

Some Red Flags

Beyond the fear of just anyone pointing out someone else with a gun for no good reason or people wrongly having their firearms taken from them because of mistaken identity or possibly just being in the wrong place at the wrong time, there are so many red flags about “red flag” laws. Undoubtedly, we’d love to be able to stop crimes and keep bad people from harming or killing others. But this is not the movie Minority Report, in which police can employ some sort of psychic technology to arrest and convict murderers before they commit their crimes. Ultimately, we have to ask: Will “red flag” laws actually target violent people … or just people with guns? Because as the above examples (and countless others) show, the problem isn’t the firearms.

About Beth Alcazar

Author of Women’s Handgun & Self-Defense Fundamentals, associate editor of Concealed Carry Magazine and creator of the Pacifiers & Peacemakers column, Beth Alcazar has enjoyed nearly two decades of teaching and working in the firearms industry. She holds degrees in language arts, education and communication management and uses her experience and enthusiasm to share safe and responsible firearms ownership and usage with others. Beth is certified through the NRA as a Training Counselor, Chief Range Safety Officer and Certified Instructor for multiple disciplines. She is also a Certified Instructor through SIG Sauer Academy, ALICE Institute, DRAW School, TWAW and I.C.E. Training and is a USCCA Certified Instructor and Senior Training Counselor.


How many times have we heard about someone running over a bunch of people too. Even the car or truck can be a deadly weapon. If someone is dead set that they are going to kill, for whatever reason, they will find the tool to kill others with!

These gun grabbers want any possible way to take our protection from us. And these same gun grabbers are socialists/communists.

Impeachment can go more ways than one. These politicians that want to do away with the Second Amendment, work for us. When they were sworn in, they swore to honor and uphold the Constitution. Trying to do away with any of the Amendments to the Constitution, especially the Bill of Rights, is not honoring and upholding the Constitution. Violating one’s Oath of Office is usually grounds for them to be removed.

I say let’s remove their asses!
(Please note, I usually don’t comment on my own posts).

“The Fraud Squad’s” Ilhan Omar Now Facing Up To 40 Years In Prison & Deportation If Steinberg’s Allegations About Her Past Are Proven To Be True In Court

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“The Fraud Squad’s” Ilhan Omar Now Facing Up To 40 Years In Prison & Deportation If Steinberg’s Allegations About Her Past Are Proven To Be True In Court
POSTED BY: DEAN JAMES JULY 18, 2019
https://rightwingtribune.com/2019/07/18/the-fraud-squads/
Posted by Dean James at Right Wing Tribune

David Steinberg released his latest report on controversial Rep. Ilhan Omar on Thursday, it can be read in its entirety at PowerLineblog.com.

Jim Hoft’s, The Gateway Pundit suggests that: According to Steinberg there is credible evident that Ilhan Omar and her family changed their name to illegally enter the United States back in 1995.

There are also allegations that suggests that Ilhan Omar, from that time forward, through her time as an adult, has continued to break United States law. Steinberg believes Rep. Omar committed perjury at least eight times, beginning as early as 2009. If proven in a court of law, the charges against the Muslim Democrat Rep could mean up to 40 years of prison time and/or even forced deportation.

If Steinberg’s research and allegations prove to be true, it would sure seem that Ilhan Omar has no regard for US law and yet there she is, “serving” in Congress representing Minnesota, voting on what becomes the law of the land in the greatest nation on Earth and is even a sitting member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

This story is developing quickly and David Steinberg has reported today on Ilhan’s alleged criminal activity.

Again, if the allegations are proven, it would sure seem that the Minnesotan Rep has no qualms about lying on federal documents. I’m not an attorney and I could be wrong, but that sounds like the “F” word to me … FRAUD.

Powerline.com Reported: Please read the verified evidence below — and read it alongside the three years of verified evidence published by Scott Johnson, Preya Samsundar, and myself (our work is linked here https://twitter.com/realDSteinberg/status/1095789152589754377). The answers to those questions about 2009 appear to give probable cause to investigate Omar for eight instances of perjury, immigration fraud, marriage fraud, up to eight years of state and federal tax fraud, two years of federal student loan fraud, and even bigamy.
To be clear: The facts describe perhaps the most extensive spree of illegal misconduct committed by a House member in American history.

David Steinberg wraps up his article with the following list of possible crimes Ilhan Omar may have committed:

Consider the disturbingly inadequate evidence used to obtain FISA warrants on members of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Consider that Democratic representatives have demanded that Attorney General William Barr release grand jury testimony — itself an illegal act.

Yet here we have:

Verifiable UK and U.S. marriage records

Verifiable address records

Time-stamped, traceable, archived online communications (Convictions and settlements based upon social media evidence are commonplace, Anthony Weiner being a notable example)

Background check confirmations of SSNs and birthdates

Archived court documents signed under penalty of perjury

Photos which can be examined to rule out digital manipulation

The 2019 Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board investigation, which found Omar filed illegal joint tax returns with a man who was not her husband in at least 2014 and 2015

Three years’ of evidence published across many articles — none of which has been shown to be incorrect, or have even been challenged with contradictory evidence from Rep. Omar or any other source

Perjury evidence that stands on its own — regardless of whom she married:

Long after June 2011, she was clearly in contact with the only man in either the U.S. or the UK with the same name and birthdate as the man she married. She was clearly in contact with several people who were in contact with him.

Further, Preya Samsundar did contact him, published how she managed to contact him, and published his email admitting to being photographed with Omar in London in 2015. To be clear: Omar was legally married to an “Ahmed Nur Said Elmi” at the time she was photographed next to a man who admits his name is Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, and that he is in the photo.

Samsundar published all of this information on how to contact Ahmed Nur Said Elmi a few months before Omar swore to that nine-question court document.

Rep. Omar has refused all inquiries from her constituents, elected officials, and media outlets to provide any specific evidence contradicting even a single allegation suggested by three years of now-public information.

In fact, Omar has responded by making information less available:

In August 2016, after Scott Johnson and Preya Samsundar posted the allegations, Omar’s verified social media accounts were taken offline.

Ahmed Nur Said Elmi’s social media accounts were also taken offline.

When the accounts returned, a large amount of potentially incriminating evidence had verifiably been deleted.

I found and published at least ten additional “before and after” instances of evidence still being deleted in 2018.

Omar has released carefully worded, Clintonian statements that denigrate those seeking answers from her as racists. Yet she has repeatedly refused to answer questions or issue anything other than public relations statements.

I have a large amount of information that we have not published for reasons including the protection of sources.

Sources have expressed fear regarding published video and photo evidence (https://twitter.com/realDSteinberg/status/1102349426771853312 confirming threats from Omar’s campaign team. These sources have shared other evidence of threats. I have contacted the federal authorities to share this and other unpublished information. Providing knowingly false information to the DOJ is a serious crime.

I believe Scott Johnson, Preya Samsundar, and me, with our three years of articles, columns and posts, have provided more than enough evidence to give law enforcement authorities probable cause to open an investigation. Now would be the chance for law enforcement, and especially for Rep. Ilhan Omar’s House colleagues, to make a sincere stand against corruption and for the uniform application of the law.

The Gateway Pundit Reported: Once Again… It should be noted that by American law — When a marriage fraud is discovered, not only might the immigrant face severe immigration consequences, but both members of the marrying couple may face criminal penalties… An immigrant who is found to have committed marriage fraud would likely be removed from the United States (deported).

Please read this incredible report written by David Steingberg at Power Line today
Join us at SPREELY if you want REAL NEWS without the leftist censorship!

Dean James at Right Wing Tribune

God Bless.

Please take a moment and consider sharing this article with your friends and family. Thank you, we appreciate it!
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New York’s Lawyers and Judges Behaving Badly, From New York Law Journal

https://www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/2018/12/30/lawyers-judges-behaving-badly/
Tara-Lenich-Article-201612051956
Tara Lenich, admitted to forging judicial orders to run illegal wiretaps on a fellow prosecutor and a New York City Police Detective, sentenced to one year in prison in early 2018.

Edmund-Duffy
Edmund Duffy’s five-decade legal career, during which he rose to prominence as the former heard of the China practice at Skadden, officially ended 02/08/2018, when he was automatically disbarred after he pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography.

AP-Robert-Cicale-web
A Suffolk County District Court Judge was suspended from the bench after he was arrested and charged with burglary. He was caught with women’s underwear that he allegedly stole from a private residence.

Evan-Greebel-Article-201710202147
Evan Greebel, a former partner at Kaye Scholer and Katten Muchin Rosenman, was sent to prison for working with disgraced pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli to defraud investors.

ravelo-keila-Article-201810091948
Keila Ravelo was sentenced to five years for conspiring to defraud her former law firms and clients out of $7.8 Million, using bogus litigation vendors. Prosecutors said that the former Hunton & Williams and Willkie Farr & Gallagher partner used the money to fuel a lavish lifestyle.

Frank-Aquila-Article-201809281858
Prominent M&A partner Frank Aquila deleted his Twitter account after tellling White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders she should “Rot in Hell You Bitch” for defending Sen. Lindsey Graham amid the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh.

Aaron-Schlossberg-Article-201805171926
Manhattan attorney Aaron Schlossberg’s rant against employees speaking Spanish at a Mexican Restaurant provoked a firestorm on social media.

Anna-Lushchinskaya-Article-201812142118
Another viral video captured a second New York City lawyer who directed racially charged comments at bystanders.

Gavel-and-Book-Article-201710162142
“Egragious and outragesou” conduct by ex-Mintz Levin associate Anthony Jacob Zappin during his pro se legal war with his former wife, also an attorney, led to his disbarment.

Judicial-Robe-Article-201712011528
New York’s high court unanimously said that Civil Court Judge Terrence O’Connor’s “intemparate” and “inappropriate” behavior in the courtroom were bad enough, but his decision to not cooperate with an investigation into his actions also contributed to his removal from the bench.

2016 STATE OF THE JUDICIARY ADDRESS THE HONORABLE CHIEF JUSTICE HUGH P. THOMPSON SUPREME COURT OF GEORGIA January 27, 2016, 11 a.m. House Chambers, State Capitol

016 STATE OF THE JUDICIARY ADDRESS
THE HONORABLE CHIEF JUSTICE HUGH P. THOMPSON
SUPREME COURT OF GEORGIA
January 27, 2016, 11 a.m.
House Chambers, State Capitol

Lt. Governor Cagle, Speaker Ralston, President Pro Tem Shafer, Speaker Pro Tem Jones, members of the General Assembly, my fellow judges and my fellow Georgians:
Good morning. Thank you for this annual tradition of inviting the Chief Justice to report on the State of Georgia’s Judiciary. Thanks in large part to your support and the support of our governor, as we move into 2016, I am pleased to tell you that your judicial branch of government is not only steady and secure, it is dynamic; it has momentum; and it is moving forward into the 21st century with a vitality and a commitment to meeting the inevitable changes before us.
Our mission remains the same: To protect individual rights and liberties, to uphold and interpret the rule of law, and to provide a forum for the peaceful resolution of disputes that is fair, impartial, and accessible to all.
Our judges are committed to these principles. Each day, throughout this state, they put on their black robes; they take their seat on the courtroom bench; and they work tirelessly to ensure that all citizens who come before them get justice.


Our Judicial Council is the policy-making body of the state’s judicial branch. It is made up of competent, committed leaders elected by their fellow judges and representing all classes of court. They are assisted by an Administrative Office of the Courts, which is under a new director – Cynthia Clanton – and has a renewed focus as an agency that serves judges and courts throughout Georgia.
A number of our judges have made the trip to be here today. Our judges are here today because the relationship we have with you is important. We share with you the same goal of serving the citizens of this great state. We could not do our work without your help and that of our governor.
On behalf of all of the judges, let me say we are extremely grateful to you members of the General Assembly for your judicial compensation appropriation last year.


Today I want to talk to you about Georgia’s 21st century courts – our vision for the future, the road we must travel to get there, and the accomplishments we have already achieved.
It has been said that, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”
Since a new state Constitution took effect in 1983, our population has nearly doubled to a little over 10 million, making us the 8th most populous state in the country. We are among the fastest growing states in the nation, and in less than four years, our population is projected to exceed 12 million.
Because it is good for our economy, we welcome that growth. Today, Georgia ranks
among states with the highest number of Fortune 500 companies, 20 of which have their global headquarters here; we have 72 four-year colleges and universities; we have the world’s busiest airport and we have two deep-water ports. Georgia is a gateway to the South, and for a growing number of people and businesses from around the world, it is a gateway to this country.
All of this growth produces litigation – increasingly complex litigation – and just as our state must prepare for this growth by ensuring we have enough roads and modes of transportation, enough doctors and hospitals, and enough power to reach people throughout the state, our courts also must be equipped and modernized for the 21st
century.
While our population has nearly doubled since 1983, the number of Georgia judges has
grown only 16 percent. We must work together to ensure that our judicial system has enough judges, staff and resources in the 21st century to fulfill the mission and constitutional duties our forefathers assigned to us.
A healthy, vibrant judiciary is absolutely critical to the economic development of our state. Thanks to many leaders in the judiciary, as well as to our partnership with the governor and to you in the legislature, we are well on our way to building a court system for the 21st century.


This time next year, with your support, we will have put into place an historic shift in the types of cases handled by the Georgia Supreme Court – the highest court in the state – and by the Court of Appeals – our intermediate appellate court. Thanks to Governor Deal’s Georgia Appellate Jurisdiction Review Commission, this realignment will bring the Supreme Court of Georgia in line with other state Supreme Courts, which handle only the most critical cases that potentially change the law. Serving on the Commission are two of my colleagues – Justice David Nahmias and Justice Keith Blackwell – as well as two judges from the Court of Appeals – Chief
Judge Sara Doyle and Judge Stephen Dillard.
I thank you, Justices and Judges, for your leadership.
Under the Georgia Constitution, Supreme Court justices collectively decide every case that comes before us. Currently the state’s highest court hears divorce and alimony cases; we hear cases involving wills; we hear cases involving titles to land; and we hear disputes over boundary lines.
But the Governor’s Commission, and a number of reports by other commissions and
committees issued since 1983, have recommended that such cases should be heard by our intermediate appeals court, not by our highest court.
Both of our courts are among the busiest in the nation. But unlike the Supreme Court, which sits as a full court with all seven justices participating in, and deciding, every case, the Court of Appeals sits in panels of three. With your approval last year of three new Court of Appeals judges, that court will now have five panels, so it will have the capacity to consider five times as many cases as the Supreme Court.
Modernization of the Supreme Court makes sense. In a 19th century court system, when
most of the wealth was tied up in land, maybe title to land cases were the most important. Maybe they had the greatest implications for the public at large. But as we move into the 21st century, that is no longer true.
In answer to questions such as who owns a strip of land, what does a will mean, and who should prevail in a divorce settlement or an alimony dispute, most judicial systems believe that three judges are enough to provide the parties with a full and fair consideration of their appeal. It no longer makes sense to have seven – or nine – justices collectively review these types of cases.
There is no doubt these cases will be in good hands with the Court of Appeals.
Let me emphasize that all these cases the Commission recommended shifting to the Court of Appeals are critically important to the parties involved.
Let me also emphasize that the purpose of this historic change is not to lessen the burden on the Supreme Court. Rather, the intent is to free up the state’s highest court to devote more time and energy to the most complex and the most difficult cases that have the greatest implications for the law and society at large.
We will therefore retain jurisdiction of constitutional challenges to the laws you enact, questions from the federal courts seeking authoritative rulings on Georgia law, election contests, murder and death penalty cases, and cases in which the Court of Appeals judges are equally divided.
Significantly, we want to be able to accept more of what we call “certiorari” cases
which are appeals of decisions by the Court of Appeals. The number of petitions filed in this category during the first quarter of the new docket year is nearly 14 percent higher this year over last. Yet due to the amount of appeals the law now requires us to take, we have had to reject the majority of the petitions for certiorari that we receive.
These cases are often the most complex – and the most consequential. They involve
issues of great importance to the legal system and the State as a whole. Or they involve an area of law that has become inconsistent and needs clarification.
Businesses and citizens need to know what the law allows them to do and what it does
not allow them to do. It is our job at the highest court to reduce any uncertainty and bring consistency and clarity to the law.
Under the Commission’s recommendations, our 21st century Georgia Supreme Court will
be able to accept more of these important appeals.


As we move into the 21st century, plans are being discussed to build the first state Judicial Building in Georgia’s history that will be dedicated solely to the judiciary. We are grateful for the Governor’s leadership on this. The building that now houses the state’s highest court and the Court of Appeals was built in 1954 when Herman Tallmadge was governor. Back then, it made sense to combine the state judicial branch with part of the executive branch, by locating the Law Department in the same building.
But the world has changed since 1954, and the building we now occupy was not designed with visitors in mind. It was not designed with technology in mind. And it surely was not designed with security in mind. Indeed, it was designed to interconnect with neighboring buildings that housed other branches of government.
A proper Judicial Building is about more than bricks and mortar. Outside, this building will symbolize for generations to come the place where people will go to get final resolution of civil wrongs and injustices; where the government will go to safeguard its prosecution of criminals; and where defendants will go to appeal convictions and sentences to prison for life.
Inside such a building, the courtroom will reinforce the reality that what goes on here is serious and solemn; it is a place of great purpose, in the words of a federal judge. The parties and the lawyers will understand they are all on equal footing, because they are equal under the law.
There is a majesty about the law that gets played out in the courtroom. It is a hallowed place because it is where the truth must be told and where justice is born. The courtroom represents our democracy at its very best.
No, this building is not just about bricks and mortar. Rather it is a place that will house Georgia’s highest court where fairness, impartiality, and justice will reign for future generations.


We are no longer living in a 1950s Georgia. The courts of the 21st century must be
equipped to handle an increasingly diverse population. Living today in metropolitan Atlanta alone are more than 700,000 people who were born outside the United States. According to the Chamber of Commerce, today some 70 countries have a presence in Atlanta, in the form of a consulate or trade office. We must be ready to help resolve the disputes of international businesses that are increasingly locating in our state and capital. Our 21st century courts must be open, transparent and accessible to all. Our citizens’ confidence in their judicial system depends on it. We must be armed with qualified, certified interpreters, promote arbitration as an alternative to costly, courtroom-bound litigation, ensure that all those who cannot afford lawyers have an avenue toward justice, and be constantly updating technology with the aim of improving our courts’ efficiency while saving literally millions of dollars. For all of this, we need your help.


When I first became a judge, we had no email, no cell phones, no Internet. People didn’t Twitter or text, or post things on YouTube, Facebook or Instagram. The most modern equipment we had was a mimeograph machine.
This past year, by Supreme Court order, we created for the first time a governance
structure to bring our use of technology into the 21st century. Chaired by my colleague Justice Harold Melton, and co-chaired by Douglas County Superior Court Judge David Emerson, this permanent Judicial Council Standing Committee on Technology will lead the judicial branch by providing guidance and oversight of its technology initiatives.
Our courts on their own are rapidly moving away from paper documents into the digital age. At the Supreme Court, lawyers must now electronically file all cases. This past year, we successfully launched the next phase by working with trial courts to begin transmitting their entire court record to us electronically. The Court of Appeals also now requires the e-filing of applications to appeal, and this year, will join the Supreme Court in accepting electronic trial records.

Our goal is to develop a uniform statewide electronic filing and retrieval system so that lawyers and others throughout the judiciary can file and access data the easiest way possible.
Using a single portal, attorneys will be able to file documents with trial courts and appellate courts – and retrieve them from any court in the state. This is the system advocated by our partner, President Bob Kaufman of the State Bar of Georgia, and by attorneys throughout the state.
Such a system will not only make our courts more efficient at huge savings, but it will make Georgia safer. When our trial judges conduct bond hearings, for example, they often lack critical information about the person before them. They usually have reports about any former convictions, but they may not have information about cases pending against the defendant in other courts. The technology exists now to ensure that they do.
Also on the horizon is the expanded use of videoconferencing – another electronic
improvement that will save money and protect citizens’ lives. After a conviction and sentence to prison, post-trial hearings require courts to send security teams to pick up the prisoner and bring him to court. Without encroaching on the constitutional right of confrontation, we could videoconference the inmate’s testimony from his prison cell. Again, the technology already exists.
Our Committee on Technology will be at the forefront of guiding our courts into the 21st century.


As Georgia grows, it grows more diverse.
Our Georgia courts are required by the federal government to provide language services free of charge to litigants and witnesses, not only in criminal cases but in civil cases as well.
Even for fluent English speakers, the judicial system can be confusing and unwelcoming.
My vision for Georgia’s judiciary in the 21st century is that every court, in every city and every county in Georgia, will have the capacity of serving all litigants, speaking any language, regardless of national origin, from the moment they enter the courthouse until the moment they leave. That means that on court websites, signs and forms will be available in multiple languages, that all court staff will have the tools they need to assist any customers, and that court proceedings will have instant access to the interpreters of the languages they need.
Chief Magistrate Kristina Blum of the Gwinnett County Magistrate Court has been
working hard to ensure access to justice for all those who come to her court, most of whom are representing themselves.
Recently her court created brochures that provide guidance for civil trials, family
violence matters, warrant applications, garnishments, and landlord-tenant disputes. These brochures provide basic information about each proceeding – what to expect and how best to present their case in court.
Judge Blum, who is in line to be president of the Council of Magistrate Judges and is a member of our Judicial Council, has had the brochures translated into Spanish, Korean and Vietnamese. Such non-legalese forms and tutorial videos that our citizens can understand go a long way toward building trust in the judicial system, and in our entire government.
The Supreme Court Commission on Interpreters, chaired by Justice Keith Blackwell, is
making significant strides in ensuring that our courts uphold the standards of due process. With the help of Commission member Jana Edmondson-Cooper, an energetic attorney with the Georgia Legal Services Program, the Commission is working around the state to educate judges,court administrators and lawyers on the judiciary’s responsibilities in providing language assistance.
The essence of due process is the opportunity to be heard. Our justice system is the envy of other countries because it is open and fair to everyone seeking justice. By helping those who have not yet mastered English, we reinforce the message that the doors to the best justice system in the world are open to everyone.
Our law demands it. Our Constitution demands it.


The courts of the 21st century will symbolize a new era. A turning point in our history occurred when we realized there was a smarter way to handle criminals.
Six years ago, my colleague and then Chief Justice Carol Hunstein accompanied
Representative Wendell Willard to Alabama to explore how that state was reforming its criminal justice system. Back in Georgia, Governor Deal seized the reins, brought together the three branches of government, and through extraordinary leadership, has made criminal justice reform a reality. Georgia is now a model for the nation.
Today, following an explosive growth in our prison population that doubled between
1990 and 2011 and caused corrections costs to top one billion dollars a year, last year our prison population was the lowest it has been in 10 years. Our recidivism rate is the lowest it’s been in three decades. And we have turned back the tide of rising costs.
For the last five years, the Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform – created by the governor and your legislation – has been busy transforming our criminal justice system into one that does a better job of protecting public safety while holding non-violent offenders accountable and saving millions in taxpayer dollars. I am extremely grateful to this Council and commend the steady leadership of co-chairs Judge Michael Boggs of the Court of Appeals and Thomas Worthy of the State Bar of Georgia.
Throughout this historic reform, Georgia’s trial court judges have been in the trenches.
Our number one goal in criminal justice reform is to better protect the safety of our citizens.
Central to that goal is the development of our specialty courts – what some call accountability courts.
These courts have a proven track record of reducing recidivism rates and keeping our
citizens safe. Nationwide, 75 percent of drug court graduates remain free of arrest two years after completing the program, and the most conservative analyses show that drug courts reduce crime as much as 45 percent more than other sentencing options. Last year, these courts helped save Georgia more than $51 million in prison costs.
From the beginning, you in the legislature have steadfastly supported the growth in these courts, most recently appropriating more than $19 million for the current fiscal year.
Georgia now has 131 of these courts, which include drug courts, DUI courts, juvenile and adult mental health courts, and veterans courts. Today, only two judicial circuits in the state do not yet have a specialty court, and both are in the early stages of discussing the possibility of starting one. In addition to those already involved, last year alone, we added nearly 3500 new participants to these courts.
Behind that number are individual tales of lives changed and in some cases, lives saved.
Our judges, who see so much failure, take pride in these success stories. And so should you.

Chief Judge Richard Slaby of the Richmond County State Court, speaks with great pride of Judge David Watkins and the specialty courts that have grown under Judge Watkins’ direction. Today the recidivism rate among the Augusta participants is less than 10 percent.
The judges who run these courts are committed and deserve our thanks. We are grateful to leaders like Judge Slaby, who is President-Elect of the Council of State Court Judges and a member of our Judicial Council; to Judge Stephen Goss of the Dougherty Superior Court, whose mental health court has been recognized as one of the best mental health courts in our country; to Chief Judge Brenda Weaver, President of the Council of Superior Court Judges and a member of our Judicial Council. Judge Weaver of the Appalachian Judicial Circuit serves on the Council of
Accountability Court Judges of Georgia, which you created last year by statute. Its purpose is to improve the quality of our specialty courts through proven standards and practices, and it is chaired by Superior Court Judge Jason Deal of Hall County. Judge Deal’s dedication to the specialty court model in his community, and his guidance and encouragement to programs throughout the state, are described as invaluable by those who work with him.


We may not have a unified court system in Georgia. But we have judges unified in their commitment to our courts. Among our one thousand four hundred and fifty judges, Georgia has many fine leaders. I’ve told you about a number of them today. In closing, I want to mention two more.
When the United States Supreme Court issued its historic decision last year on same-sex marriage, our Council of Probate Court Judges led the way toward compliance. Three months before the ruling was issued, the judges met privately at the behest of the Council’s then president, Judge Chase Daughtrey of Cook County, and his successor, Judge Don Wilkes of Emanuel County. Together, they determined that regardless of what the Supreme Court decided, they would follow the law. Both Governor Deal and Attorney General Sam Olens also publicly announced they would respect the court’s decision, despite tremendous pressure to do otherwise.
These men are all great leaders who spared our state the turmoil other states endured. The bottom line is this: In Georgia, we may like the law, we may not like the law, but we follow the law.


The day-to-day business of the Georgia courts rarely makes the news. Rather judges,
their staff and clerks spend their days devoted to understanding the law, tediously pushing cases through to resolution, committed to ferreting out the truth and making the right decision. It is not easy, and they must often stand alone, knowing that when they sentence someone to prison, many lives hang in the balance between justice and mercy.
So I thank all of our leaders, and I thank all of our judges who are leading our courts into the 21st century.
May God bless them. May God bless you. And may God bless all the people of Georgia.
Thank you.

A Must See For Every True American

I just watched a very, very short video at: http://www.conservativewarchest.com/

 It really made one hell of a statement.  Every true American needs to see this video, to see where we stand in this country.  A true eye-opener.  

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Everyone has 2 minutes to see this.  It last only two minutes: