Paul Howard recently scolded those who assert the prosecutor’s office needs more money to fight crime, saying:
“As prosecutors we’re not on some campaign to add more prosecutors.”
What he must mean is that it is perfectly acceptable to plead down 75% of the cases that cross his desk, try 10% of them and allow the other 15% to disappear somewhere in the ionosphere. Or something like that: we don’t know, because nobody is letting the public see statistical information about case outcomes.
Does leniency embolden criminals? Here’s the AJC on one disappeared case that came back:
Police say a Newnan man was so intent on getting his gun back that he threatened to kill the forensic scientist processing it for a drug case. Now George Thomas Lawrence, 33, is back in jail and facing more serious charges. Lawrence is being held without bond in the DeKalb County jail on charges of terroristic threats…
Police say Lawrence should have still been in jail, but the Fulton County District Attorney dismissed the meth charge.
“Fairburn Police did everything properly,” Bedford said. “But he did not go before a judge within 48 hours. Fulton County dropped the ball and dismissed the case.” . . .
Lawrence threatened to kill the female scientist if she didn’t give him his weapon back, Bankhead said. He called the GBI employee several times at the crime lab. “He admitted to the agent he was on a meth binge,” Bankhead said.
“Ruh-row,” as a canine crime solver who probably would not have let this guy go, would say: