Home » Regional Round Up » Recent Articles:

Why Georgia’s Street Gang Act May Be Unconstitutional As Applied to Macon’s “Hybrid” Street Gangs

Capture

 

By Dave Oedel

This week, sitting in the gallery during parts of the trial of Andre Maurice Bonner, 32, who was convicted Friday for the murder of 17-year-old Jamonni Bland in the parking deck outside the Zodiac Lounge in Macon near Walnut and Broadway at about 3:30 a.m. on July 5, 2013, I thought about the constitutionality of Georgia’s law on street gangs.  Georgia’s Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act adds stiff penalties for crimes committed in association with street gangs – sentences of three to fifteen years in addition to the penalties for the predicate crimes committed. Bonner is affiliated with Macon’s Westside Mafia, a so-called hybrid street gang, and Bonner was also convicted of several street-gang enhancements.

The possible unconstitutionality of Georgia’s anti-gang law probably won’t matter to Bonner, though, whose conviction for murder largely moots the issue for him. He’ll be imprisoned for a very long time, so any enhancements to his sentence may well be practically irrelevant. … Continue Reading

What the Supreme Court’s Same-Sex Marriage Decision Might Mean for Georgia and Similar States with State Constitutions Banning Same-Sex Marriage

(FILES)US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts poses for the Supreme Court class photo 03 March 2006 at the Supreme Court in Washington, DC. The US Supreme Court ruled 25 June, 2007 in favor of a school that suspended a student for brandishing a banner proclaiming "Bong Hits 4 Jesus," in one of the more bizarre recent free-speech cases. The high-school pupil, Joseph Frederick, had argued that the school principal had infringed his constitutional right to free speech by suspending him in January 2002 over his apparently pro-cannabis message. But in a five-three decision, the Supreme Court concluded that the school officials in this case did not violate the First Amendment by confiscating the pro-drug banner and suspending the student responsible for it," the ruling written by chief justice John Roberts said.       AFP PHOTO/Paul J. RICHARDS/FILES (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images) ORG XMIT: PJR07

 

By Dave Oedel

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments this past Tuesday, April 28, 2015, on two interrelated questions involving the federal constitutionality of state-based same-sex marriages bans in states like Georgia. The Court’s decision, expected by late June, is likely to have an impact on Georgia’s law and those of similarly-situated states. But what impact?

A couple of probable swing voters in the case, Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy, early on in the oral argument Tuesday signaled that they were doubtful about using the courts to redefine the definition of marriage itself, something that they suggested has been assumed for millennia.

But that didn’t stop the Chief from posing this hypothetical, … Continue Reading

A Conversation With Sister Elizabeth Greim As She Leaves Macon

greim 3

The Telegraph’s 2013 Person of the Year, Sister Elizabeth Greim of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent DePaul, an order of nuns in the Catholic Church devoted to serving the homeless and poor, has touched many souls in Macon. Sister Elizabeth is now transitioning to a new position in Little Rock, Arkansas with Depaul USA, where she will direct a homeless day center transforming it into a center like the Daybreak center at 174 Walnut Street in Macon that Sister Elizabeth helped found in 2012, and has directed for the past three years. The Monitor caught up with Sister Elizabeth on April 24, 2015 to hear about what she’s learned and done in Macon, and what its people have meant for her.

There will be a mass and reception in Sister Elizabeth’s honor beginning at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 4, 2015 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 830 Poplar Street in downtown Macon. The public is welcome.

Monitor: Before coming to Macon, where had you been, and what were you doing?

Sister Elizabeth: I’ve been a sister in the Daughters of Charity for almost 20 years now, the last ten in Macon. Before that, … Continue Reading

Middle Georgia Senator John Kennedy Comments on His First Session

300px-John_Kennedy_Georgia

Georgia State Senator John F. Kennedy of Macon, Georgia was elected in 2014 for the District 18 seat being vacated by Cecil Staton after a lively race in which Kennedy bested Dr. Spencer Price from Thomaston. District 18 covers north, south and west Bibb County, plus Upson, Crawford, Peach and Monroe Counties, and parts of Houston County. Kennedy won in the decisive May 20, 2014 primary by 2,180 votes with a 57-43 percentage margin. Unopposed in the November election, Kennedy was then tapped by Governor Nathan Deal to be one Deal’s Senate floor leaders – an unusual position for a freshman senator indicative of Kennedy’s strong reputation even before arriving in Atlanta. The Monitor caught up with Senator Kennedy on April 24, 2015 after the conclusion of the 2015 term of Georgia’s General Assembly.

Monitor: Your first session of Georgia’s General Assembly as a senator is now complete. How would describe the major accomplishments of the General Assembly this session?

Kennedy: It was a good session. We tackled … Continue Reading

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Subscribe and receive a weekly newsletter with excerpts from the newest edition of Macon Monitor.

Like our page on Facebook

Editions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13 & 14