Your Turn to Make A Difference in State Criminal Laws

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I just received this notification today about impending legislation in the Georgia Senate that will affect all of us in dealing with the criminal element that surounds us. This is SB 423, known as the “Smash and Grab Act”, and I also found out today that it was co-written by our own friend and ally in court – Sharla Jackson, the Community Prosecutor for neighboring APD Zone 5. She has made sure the language is written so that it can be an effective tool for the District Attorney’s office in delivering effective prosecution to us. I am, by no means, a lawyer – but as I read the bill – there are separate sections dealing with the thugs who are now using vehicles to drive through store fronts for theivery (especially ATM machines), the low-lifes who use juveniles to commit criminal activity (especially shop-lifting), the scrap-metal thieves who are stealing metal cemetery markers and historical markers, and the crack dealers and fences (on Boulevard and elsewhere) who buy stolen goods to trade for drugs. These are all situations that affect us right here in Zones 5 and 6 and tougher sentences are needed to keep these offenders behind bars for longer periods of time.

I know this is a lot of reading to do quickly – but time is of the essence in this case. The Senate Rules Committee, chaired by Sen. Don Balfour, must approve the bill by Tuesday, March 23. Then the full Senate must pass the bill on Thursday, March 25. This is cross-over day to be passed over to the House for their consideration. The attachments have lists of Senators on the Rules Committee, as well as a suggested letter ready for you to send. You might also alert our own Senator, Nan Orrock, at and our House rep, Pat Gardner at of the importance to our safety this bill represents.

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