Suspects who’ve been charged with crimes in Georgia are entitled to bond if they’re not indicted within 90 days, and though that law was suspended during the pandemic, it was reinstated over the summer.
That means hundreds of defendants accused of crimes, many of them violent, are now eligible or soon will be eligible for release.
Willis said her office is prioritizing sexual predator and other serious cases. But the reality, she said, is that “there’s gonna be four or five-hundred defendants that we don’t make the clock on and they, without having the proper evaluation by law, a judge will be mandated to give them a bond.”
Willis said her office would work “around the clock” to make sure murder cases were indicted before the Sept. 28 deadline. Of the 224 murder defendants who’ve been charged but not indicted, more than 50 had to be indicted by this week to remain in custody.
“I can guarantee the public that there will not be someone that was charged with homicide that will not be charged,” Willis said. “We’re just working around the clock to make sure that I can make that guarantee. We also did the same thing with the sexual offenses and now we are working our way through other violent offenders.”
Some victims of violent crime and their loved ones say they no longer have closure.
Critics of the District Attorney say that no matter what a person is charged with, they still have a right to be proven guilty without languishing behind bars.
“We cannot afford to let violent criminals out,” Ramsey said. “People with gun offenses, people with aggravated assault, robbery, things of that nature.”
CNN’s Peter Nickeas contributed to this report.