Governor expands, reassembles criminal justice council
3:53 pm, May 25th, 2012
The executive order signed by Governor Nathan Deal reassembling the Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform adds several new members, including more prosecutors, a sheriff and his son—Northeastern Judicial Circuit Judge Jason Deal.
The order also mandates the now 21-member board to submit a report to the governor’s office, speaker of the House, lieutenant governor, chief justice of the state Supreme Court and chief judge of the state Court of Appeals by Dec. 31.
The criminal justice reform efforts began in the winter of 2011, shortly after Deal took office. He and other state leaders were motivated by the state’s growing incarceration rate and related cost.
The original council, which was legislatively created in the 2011 session, had 13 members, who were appointed by the governor, speaker, lieutenant governor and chief justice. The council met frequently last year and released the first report in November,
which yielded overhaul legislation known as House Bill 1176 in the 2012 session of the General Assembly that included the creation of a statewide system of accountability courts, a weight-based scheme for drug possession prosecution and more sentencing options for nonviolent offenders.
The complete membership of the reassembled council is:
- Fulton County Superior Court Judge Todd Markle*, who is also former executive counsel to Gov. Deal
- Douglas County District Attorney David McDade*
- State Supreme Court Chief Justice Carol Hunstein*
- Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Bill Hamrick*, R-Carrollton
- Rep. Jay Powell*, R-Camilla, who is also a former mayor of Camilla
- State Bar of Georgia President Ken Shigley*
- State Court of Appeals Judge Mike Boggs*
- Senate Ethics Committee Chairman John Crosby*, R-Tifton
- Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver*, D-Decatur
- Fulton County Superior Court Judge Ural Glanville*
- Sen. Ronald Ramsey*, D-Decatur
- Rep. Willie Talton*, R-Warner Robins
- Judicial Qualifications Commission member Linda Evans*
- Clayton County Juvenile Court Judge Steven Teske
- Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter
- Oconee County Sheriff Scott Berry
- Northeastern Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Jason Deal
- Lowndes County Solicitor-General Justo Cabral
- House Judiciary Committee Chairman Wendell Willard, R-Sandy Springs
- Governor’s Deputy Executive Counsel David Werner
- House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, D-Atlanta
(*= original members)
The order names Werner and Boggs as co-chairmen of the council. Markle was chairman last year.