Monday, July 15, 2013

Is DeKalb County still offering criminals the equivilent to a one way greyhound ticket to escape jail time?

Interesting history - Is this practice still being done today?

Banished from DeKalb County from My mind is on Georgia

DeKalb County seems to use banishment more than most counties often telling drug offenders they are banished from 158 of Georgia's 159 counties leaving tiny Echols County as the number one travel destination for folks who are banished.

Georgia's counties are allowed to say 'Get out and stay out' as punishment

Since 1877, Georgia's constitution has specifically prohibited two types of punishment for offenders -- whipping and banishment ''beyond the limits of the state.''

The interpretation by prosecutors and judges has long been that banning offenders from parts of the state -- whether one county or 158 of Georgia's 159 counties -- is perfectly legal.

The Georgia Supreme Court upheld that view in 1974, ruling against a woman who challenged her banishment from seven counties for a year.

Justice Hiram K. Undercofler, the lone dissenter, warned banishment permits ''one county to relegate its criminals to another county and thereby create dissension and provoke retaliation.''

Exiled offenders rarely challenge banishment in court, said Larry Schneider, public defender in DeKalb County near Atlanta. Stuck with a choice between going to jail or leaving town, defendants usually agree to be banished as part of a plea bargain or as a condition of probation, he said.

 Echols County

Echols County, Georgia - Wikipedia

Echols County has become notable in recent years as it has served as a place of banishment for many of Georgia's criminals.

Q&A/Rural county baffled by judges' punishment 

Lamar Raulerson, chair of the three-member Echols County Commission has lived in the county all of his 48 years, and he has never heard of anyone moving to the county as part of a criminal conviction.

Hipster Dad Blog 

 Our state's constitution prevents judges from using the punishment of being banned from the state. But judges do have the legal option of confining criminals to a single county. In most cases, that would be Echols County, a bit of nowhere roughly located about the point where you've gone far enough from Valdosta to question what the point of going on is. The theory is, having been banished to the least appealing county in the state, any sensible city-bred multiple offender will choose instead to turn over a new leaf. In practice, however, it means that they'll leave the state entirely, never to return. Everybody wins! Except residents of whatever state the miscreants choose to relocate, but then it's not our problem anymore.

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