GA Supreme Court Halts Panels That Review Sentences


A divided Georgia Supreme Court overturned a system of three-judge panels that has reduced prison sentences for hundreds of inmates, but the high court stopped short of reinstating the original prison terms, the Associated Press reports. The court’s 4-3 ruling said reversing sentences that have already been reduced by the panels would amount to “double jeopardy.” The outcome was a blow to prosecutors, who argued that the original prison terms should remain intact.

To defense attorneys, the panels provided a way to appeal harsh or unjustified sentences and a way to foster more uniformity in sentencing across Georgia. Prosecutors argue the panels have been abused by defendants eager to skirt a judge’s decision and they have been looking for ways to get rid of them since they were created more than three decades ago.


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