(The Center Square) — The backlog of cases dealing with courts throughout Georgia “could take years to resolve,” Supreme Court of Georgia Chief Justice Michael P. Boggs mentioned all the way through his “State of the Judiciary” cope with on Wednesday.
Boggs pointed to Fulton County, the place he mentioned there are greater than 4,000 “pending indicted felony cases.”
“And it’s critical to note that the number of felony criminal cases that were indicted during COVID is substantially lower than the number of people arrested for felonies during that same period,” Boggs mentioned in his ready remarks, including that Fulton County has just about 14,000 “unindicted felony cases.”
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Brian Kemp allotted $96 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act price range for state courts and prosecutors and $14 million for public defenders to cope with “the backlogs of serious violent felony cases,” Boggs mentioned.
“After seeing a 36.3 percent increase in serious violent felony cases between 2019 and 2021, circuits receiving ARPA grants reported a nearly 12 percent decrease in these pending cases between the end of 2021 and August 2022,” Boggs mentioned. “A similar decrease was seen among all felony cases and all cases in general.”
Additionally, the quantity of jury trials is “also recovering” after a 75% drop in prison jury trials between 2019 and 2020. Courts noticed prison jury trials building up through 182% through the tip of 2021 and through just about 14% over the primary 8 months of 2022.
“There is still a long way to go, but our trial court judges are demonstrating incredible leadership in tackling this problem,” Boggs mentioned.
“While the cost of building up our legal workforce requires financial investment, it may ultimately cost less than allowing defendants to sit in jail,” Boggs mentioned.
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