Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Lt. Gov. Burt Jones are leading a charge by state officials to hold rogue prosecutors accountable for refusing to charge accused criminals with misdemeanors for certain crimes.
On Friday, Jones reacted to two bills being introduced in the Georgia House of Representatives to address the issue by promising to uphold the law and strengthen public safety for Georgians.
‘Any District Attorney who refuses to uphold the law and prosecute criminals in this state is going to be held accountable,’ he said in a statement posted on Twitter. ‘I look forward to working with the Governor and members of the General Assembly to strengthen public safety across our state.’
Kemp made a similar vow in December, arguing rogue prosecutors were essentially endangering the people of Georgia.
‘Far-left local prosecutors are failing their constituents and making our communities less safe. I look forward to working with members of the General Assembly and [Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr] to address it this session,’ Kemp tweeted.
Republicans introduced the two bills in the Georgia House of Representatives Thursday. They could lead to state prosecutors facing disciplinary sanctions, removal from office or easier voter recalls if they decline to follow the law when it comes to charging individuals accused of crimes.
Both House Bill 229 and House Bill 231 are specifically aimed at addressing district attorneys and county solicitors general refusing to prosecute certain crimes, such as low-level marijuana possession.
House Bill 231 would create a Prosecuting Attorneys Oversight Commission, which would have the ability to investigate judicial misconduct and recommend punishments to the state Supreme Court.
House Bill 229 provides that a district attorney must ‘review every individual case for which probable cause for prosecution exists, and make a prosecutorial decision available under the law based on the facts and circumstances of each individual case.’ It adds that refusing to do so would violate a district attorney’s oath of office, a crime punishable by up to five years in prison.
If passed, the bills would then head to the state Senate before going to Kemp’s desk.