Regardless of who wins, they will have to address the betrayal of the public that marked Shirley Franklin and Richard Pennington’s last years.
Choosing a new police chief will be part of that. But there are deeper problems. Most, if not all of the people pictured below would be alive today if not for the radical leniency shown to repeat offenders in Atlanta’s courts.
A new mayor is limited in his or her power to directly impact the justice system. But they control some purse strings, and as representatives of the city to the Georgia legislature, they can make it a legislative priorities to change the sentencing loopholes that still enable judges to go easy on recidivists and first-time offenders guilty of violent crimes.
People are dying because of this leniency. What’s more important?
And as a prominent voice in politics, the new mayor can promote an ethic of selecting judges who view the courts as a place where everyone comes for justice, not a place where offenders go to be showered with attention, or just let go.
At the end of the day, 90% of the problems in our justice system boil down to resources and priorities. What will the next mayor prioritize? Or will he or she do nothing, as Franklin and Pennington did?
Look at these beautiful, kind faces.* Pray for their families.
*I am sorry this gallery is far from complete. These are pictures I have been keeping of murder victims killed in Atlanta since I started this blog. There are others.