Judge’s Ruling Could Jeopardize Atlanta Test Scandal Indictments


A Georgia judge on Tuesday indicated he would find that defendants in the Atlanta Public Schools test-cheating scandal gave coerced statements when interviewed by investigators, putting the 65-count indictment against 35 educators and administrators in jeopardy, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. At the close of a two-day hearing, Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter told prosecutors it appeared defendants had been threatened with the prospect of losing their jobs if they did not cooperate.

“I think you can sort of get where I'm headed,” Baxter told prosecutors and defense attorneys. If Baxter finds defendants gave compelled statements, prosecutors will then have to prove that they did not use the statements when preparing their case or presenting it to the grand jury. That would be difficult, experts said.

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