District Attorney’s office does a 180

What a difference a year (and four months) makes!  District Attorney Tracy Graham-Lawson has already tried more cases than former D.A. Jewel Scott did while in office (zero cases tried), successfully removing criminals from our streets.

“In 2009 we had a 15% increase in incoming cases as compared to 2008, yet we closed with 17% fewer cases than when I took office,” explains Lawson. “All [2004-2008 cases] that were unindicted when I took over are now either indicted or accused, have been dismissed or plead guilty.” These include Gerald Benn who shot a cop (sentenced to 120 years); William Cunningham for poisoning his kids using Campbell’s soup (100 years); and the Rainbow House embezzlement (20 years), among many other cases where defendants eventually plead guilty.

The D.A.’s goal for 2010 is to get all incarcerated felons indicted within 90 days and non-incarcerated felons within nine months, so all are hopefully completed within one year of the crime.

The D.A.’s office also offers a Pre-Trial intervention program which has admitted 500 nonviolent first time felony offenders, and none have committed another crime after participating. “150 [completed the program] and we put $66,000 into the General Fund for the county,” says Lawson. “My predecessor had a program yet $0 went into the General Fund (requirement of the statute).” Additionally, Lawson’s victim/witness unit (5 employees) has helped over 5,000 victims/witnesses solve crimes.

Our DA’s office has also created an anti-armed robbery campaign, which will feature a movie starring kids. “It doesn’t matter if a gun is fake or real, loaded or not, or any other offensive weapon – you get 10 years minimum and up to life in prison. I started this because I am tired of watching these young men go away because when they get out they will be unemployable and will have missed finishing school, going to college, their first job, buying their first home, getting married and starting a family,” says Lawson. “I can’t un-ring the bell – if they do it we are going to come after them and make them go to prison BUT if we can prevent it in the first place . . . that would be great.”

The anti-armed robbery movie premiere will be held at 6:00 PM on May 3 at the Clayton County Performing Art Center. Although aimed at young people and their parents, anyone may attend and admission is FREE!

87 comments Add your comment

bigdogears

April 26th, 2010
10:28 am

This topic goes right back to last week’s topic. Our new DA is a clear sign of an upswing in the county’s future. We are fortunate to have her and her staff. Our judges, Solicitor General, Sheriff, and Interim Police Chief aren’t slouches either! And they all seem to be working together as a team, what a novel concept.

Good Job and...

April 26th, 2010
10:30 am

Good work should be recognized but why muddy the waters by making reference to the former DA. Continue to do what you were elected to do and let the past stay buried. Our children deserve more and so does the community. Leave the politics out of it! Stop criminalizing the youth of Clayton County. Just like any other youth growing up they some times make wrong choices. It is how we respond that makes a difference in their future. So again good work! Hope your programs continue and make a real difference, not just on paper.

Clayton Resident

April 26th, 2010
10:40 am

What’s that saying about if you forget past mistakes you’re doomed to repeat them? I get the references to the past DA, lest we forget how bad it really was for awhile there.

Keep up the GREAT work Ms. Lawson! Anyone who claims not to see a difference in Clayton isn’t paying attention or just doesn’t want to see, you are a HUGE part of us going forward in the right ways. You’re not gonna be able to save all the problem kids but thanks for trying.

MorrowDude

April 26th, 2010
10:41 am

District Attorney Tracy Graham-Lawson and her staff are doing an excellent job, especially considering the sad condition the DA’s office was in when she was elected. We need more elected officials like her in Clayton County.

sam

April 26th, 2010
10:45 am

i agree this will help get cc back on the right track.

Do not get it confused

April 26th, 2010
10:48 am

Please do not get it confused. Now is not the time to get warm and fuzzy and drop your guard.Our children are still being arrested in far larger numbers than surrounding metro counties. This is a main revenue stream for Clayton.
The judges, sheriff and interim chief are not slouches but they leave much to be desired in their carriage of justice in many cases. Take some time and spend it at the justice center to get a true picture of justice in Clayton County and who is really served! Having said that I would sure like to see proof of all this stuff you have written and referenced Kim. I know about the movie and will attend.

kallen

April 26th, 2010
10:54 am

Do not get it confused: I got my information directly from the District Attorney herself. She has no reason to embellish her record, but you could always contact her directly to obtain proof.

Big Pappi

April 26th, 2010
11:06 am

The previous DA was patently UNQUALIFIED to hold the position as was the previous sheriff. Perhaps your “children”, I call them dangerous felons are getting arrested because they are criminals.
On another note, its kind of sad that the education requirement for the posted police chief’s job is so low. Sounds like that already have a favorite in mind that has no degree. Granted, education will not make the chief but it should be a baseline requirement. Hey, we’re paying 90k and we’re shootin’ waaaaay too low. Read some similar job postings for similar sized law enforcement agencies.

Ex Clayton student

April 26th, 2010
11:11 am

I left Clayton because I was tired of being harassed by CC’s finest. I transferred from Clayton State University to Morehouse. My first 2 years at CSU, I was stopped nine times by the police from Morrow, Lake City or CCPD. Out of those nine stops, I never received a ticket or was charged with anything. Because I was a young Black man driving a Mercedes (that my grandparents willed to me) I was automatically assumed to be dealing drugs. I have three friends who tried to stick it out at CSU, one went to Georgia Tech, the other went home, and the one who graduated missed his graduation because a person matching his description was seen breaking into a car at Walmart. The actual person was arrested and my friend did not look like him at all! My advice to other young Blacks, do not go to Clayton State University and get the hell out of Clayton County if you want to succeed and escape the harassment–I did and I am.

Big Pappi

April 26th, 2010
11:15 am

Kudos to the DA and the rest of the criminal justice team, you are doing a great job under difficult circumstances. Word of caution: Beware the clergy,they will turn on you in a heartbeat when you don’t kow-tow to their every whim, hand out badges like candy at Halloween, and cut special deals for favored members.

Roach

April 26th, 2010
11:36 am

Our DA is a Clayton County hero, though she’s not the only one. In 08, a group of people looked at the mess being made of Clayton County, rolled up their sleeves, and started making things better. If you’re hating on Tracy, you’re just a hater.

ASimpleTruth

April 26th, 2010
11:58 am

LIFE CHOICES 101:

Chose not to commit a crime and 99% of the time you will not be labeled a felon, nor serve time in jail.

Thank you.

Truth

April 26th, 2010
12:07 pm

District Attorney Tracy Graham-Lawson and her staff are doing an excellent job, “BULL”! She’s alright dragging she feet on “Prosecuting” the Cracker Barrel Attacker”! She’s talking about speedy prosecuting, only for one color; and we all know what color. Oh, I forget jail is only for one color people; don’t believe me? Ask Pro “Quarterbacks!

kallen

April 26th, 2010
12:18 pm

Truth: The Cracker Barrel trial begins on July 19.

man on the street

April 26th, 2010
12:54 pm

You mean the former DA – Mrs. Lee Scott did not try a single case as our DA? I guess she knew her limitations – after all they say she was a divorce lawyer. Lee’s money and the foolishness of the voters in 2004 put her in office. I wonder if Lee had a business license during her tenure for that building on 19/41 where he almost had a Freaknik party. The crybaby was complaining about political foes – instead of the laws he was breaking.

Congradulation DA Lawson for showing the rest of us how it is supposed to be done.

SA

April 26th, 2010
1:18 pm

LOL. “Truth” got owned. Just like the Scotts did last election. Sit down.

Mr. Nobody

April 26th, 2010
1:43 pm

Ex-Clayton Student- Sad, sad ,sad…shame on those mean police officers

Your theory,

Police officer 1- Hey, look at that black guy driving a Benz…
Police officer 2- Well, he’s gotta be dealing dope…there’s noooooo way he could afford that on regular black people salary. Go ahead and pull him over…

Is this an accurate description in your mind???? Sad…

What?

April 26th, 2010
2:13 pm

Ex-Clayton Student,

You’re full of it. I’m black, graduated from CSU and am now working on a Master’s there. I’ve been pulled over once driving my Lexus in my five years there and deserved it. If it’s the norm as you say, I could have expected more. Something’s wrong with your story.

But back to the topic. DA Lawson is impressive and a breath of fresh air compared to what we had before.

Jonesboro Res

April 26th, 2010
3:36 pm

Tracy G. Lawson is AWESOME!!!!!

@Ex-Clayton student…I don’t if you are aware of the crime statistics for the morehouse area…the AUC is in the ghetto…Georgia Tech is actually worst…..didn’t students get kidnapped their recently…and I knmow you’ve been keeping up on the # of students robbed at Georgia Tech.

You might want to reconsider what you said and did.

Progressive African American

April 26th, 2010
6:18 pm

DoubleAction: “We must be vigilant about our elections in this county; only something like 11 percent of the registered voters showed up to vote for our next District Attorney in this county.”

This unfortunately has been a blessing in disguise for CC. The only people who care, understand politics, and read the news has gone to the polls to get rid of the trash. Some of our elected officials thought that playing race cards and depending on those who ‘completely’ relied on public transportation would keep them in office. This has backfired against them.

Watch out for the cronies who supported incompetent officals such as Phaedra Graham, Victor Hill, Lee Scott, Oritha “Rick” Scoggins and Wayne Hall posting on this blog. Eldrin’s time in office is numbered, and since it is not getting a lot of information yet – watch out for the possible return of Victor Hill in the Senate!!!!!! http://qual.sos.ga.gov/QualifyingSearchResults.asp?RaceID=4

Congrats to Mrs. Tracey Graham Lawson!!!

Ed Nelms

April 26th, 2010
6:38 pm

DoubleAction ->

“I knew that Tracy Graham-Lawson was up the task, when she openly and publicly challenged Jewel Scott to a debate and Scott declined. Part of the skills of Attorneys is being able to debate and submit their arguments in an open forum of jurors.”

When Tracy Graham-Lawson issued the statement about her eagerness to debate Jewel Scott and Scott refused on the grounds that she don’t engage in debates, I could not believe that there was such attorney in our District Attorneys office in Clayton County.

whatever

April 26th, 2010
8:02 pm

Do not be confused: Maybe black children are being arrested in larger numbers because they are committing more crimes.

Ex Clayton student

April 26th, 2010
9:01 pm

What? Why do I have to be full of it because I share my experience?

Ex Clayton student

April 26th, 2010
9:03 pm

Big Pappi contrary to what you and those who benefit from the hatred and fear of our children. Our children are not felons no more than yours are or are they?

Check the record

April 26th, 2010
9:12 pm

Thank you Truth for the truth. I hope those Lawson supporters are in the court room when she prosecutes the Cracker Barrel case. Lets see what true justice is and then run this blog again. Take your heads out of the sand. Lawson is doing her job just like she did in the juvenile court, locking up blacks and giving whites a break. Check the record or better yet sit in on her and see for yourself.

Ex-Clayton Student

April 26th, 2010
9:19 pm

What? What is wrong with my story is that it is unbelievably true. Now your story about you and your Lexus that is unbelievable.

Mr. Nobody thousands of Black men like me experience this daily. For you to come on this blog and try to deny or discredit my experience makes me know that I made the right choice to go to Morehouse where we are respected and prepared for your kind of thinking.

Keep Up With The Details!

April 26th, 2010
9:26 pm

Tracy Graham Lawson is a hero to Clayton County. Keep up the great work, Tracy!

Pittbull

April 26th, 2010
10:22 pm

The former DA should never be forgotten. She was that bad! Worst I ever seen. For those complaining about “there poor little thug children getting in trouble”! You are directly to blame. You were a failure as a parent You did not do your job. Whine somewhere else. We have a great DA doing her job thank god!

Donald

April 26th, 2010
10:43 pm

Tracy, you are a credit to CC..Thank you from the bottom of my heart…The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter now…This county will rise again…!!!!!

Law abiding citizens of Clayton County, rise up and take back this County by 2014!!!!!

Donald

April 26th, 2010
10:44 pm

Kimberley;

Cant we do a piece on the good work Sheriff Kembrough has done as well?

I am just saying...

April 27th, 2010
12:11 am

Thank you!!!!!Do the crime in Clayton County, you will do the time!!!

Time out with that weak argument that our kids are being jailed. Newsflash- teach your kid not to commit a crime then they will not be jailed.

I am not thinking about that poor kid when they are kicking in my back door or carjacking my car. I am thinking about my life and getting home to my husband and kid.

I do not feel sorry for kids that commit these violent crimes. Granted, its a mistake and they MUST pay for their mistakes.

Be Told

April 27th, 2010
12:13 am

Tracy Graham Lawson will let the Cracker Barrel Attacker “OFF”! She will not put her own in jail. However, the masses are “LOOKING”!

Stifiling...

April 27th, 2010
7:48 am

All this sugar for Lawson is making me sick! Have you ever sat in her courtroom when she lauded over the juvenile court? That was when she was called the hanging judge. There is another side that you will not read about. Be sure to show up for the Cracker Barrel trail.

R U kidding?

April 27th, 2010
9:35 am

So Lawson only takes care of her own? Not sure about the guy who shot the cop by the Campbell soup guy and the Rainbow embezzlement chick were both white! You sound ridiculous and racist.

Mary Hillis

April 27th, 2010
11:00 am

Response to Donald comment:

Sheriff Kimbrough is too busy trying to keep his dirt out of the media. He has let the inmates run the jail. He has several lawsuits facing him for firing and defamation of character cases. He fired a clerk who had been out due to an on the job injury and had been calling in sick. He denied her unemployment which she did receive when the hearing officer ruled in her favor. She appealed her termination and won her reinstatement and now he has appealed that to Superior Court. Once she wins in Superior Coourt a he will be faced with a Federal lawsuit. So don’t praise this so -called sheriff he will not be reelected. He also got one of his deputies pregnant and paid for her abortion. Some employees are working on filing a class action lawsuit on him. He has promoted employees without then going through the standard promotion board where anyone who feels they are qualified can apply, but since he wanted certain employees promoted, he had the commissioners disallow the promotion board in order to accommodate him. The people who he promoted are not even qualified. The employees are regretting having him as Sheriff. They got worse instead of better.
All of this information is true and will definitely come out and he knows it.

I Said It

April 27th, 2010
12:28 pm

“Stifling”,

You sound as if you were on the losing end of a child gone bad with some courtroom experience. If so, don’t blame the judge. Blame the person staring back at you in the mirror.

Stifiling...

April 27th, 2010
12:43 pm

I said it
The the truth will come to fore. I have no children of my own but I care enough to know what goes on with our future. Who the hell is going to give you your last glass a water? Some elder?..I doubt that. Kill their children and the rest will die. Of course I know that is a little to heavy for you considering your baseless remark!

Straight No Chaser

April 27th, 2010
1:40 pm

@Needs an Enema….oops I mean Stifiling

You are full of it. Nice quote from the Scott’s campaign flyers about calling DA Lawson the hanging judge. Here are some facts & a direct quote in 2008 from then Judge Lawson –

“Of the 6,000 delinquent and unruly charges filed in the Clayton County Juvenile Court in 2007, only 150 children received detention time at disposition (sentencing) and that included both mine and those of Judge Steven Teske. Those that were detained had normally committed violent offenses or were frequent repeat offenders who had failed to be rehabilitated. Our Juvenile Court has been named a national model court and has received a national award. I received the Clayton County Branch of the NAACP’s Trailblazer Award in 2007. This year I started a Second Chance Drug Court for high-risk male offenders who would otherwise be in detention. We have reduced disproportionate minority confinement among juvenile offenders by 50 percent and of that 50 percent, 80 percent of the children were African-American, where the target population is 75 percent.”

WHAT!! I’m a brutha from the old school of show and prove, but let me give it to you new school style…….You just got served!!! Oh wow look at the pun…LOL!!!

Mr. Nobody

April 27th, 2010
1:44 pm

Ex-Clayton Student- Cry me a river…you don’t speak for all blacks…find me some valid research on your claims and then maybe I’ll buy it. You sound quite ignorant and prejudice. You can just admit that you were at failure at Clayton State. No need to make up some lame excuse to why you are not attending there anymore.

kallen

April 27th, 2010
1:46 pm

Donald: Articles on the Sherriff, Solicitor General & CCPD are forthcoming, this one is long overdue but there’s so much going on in Clayton to discuss.

Long-Time resident

April 27th, 2010
2:58 pm

My friend who works for CCSD has told me on numerous occasions that it is much better now than when Walking Small was there. Kem may not be perfect but he is better than what we had.

Let Me tell you

April 27th, 2010
5:09 pm

Try all you want EVERBODY know Tracy Lawson is awesome!!!!!! You can race bait, lie..but the facts and the statistics speak for themselves. ALL you Scott supporters please move to Spalding Co or somewhere else and try to get in over there. Why don’t you all get a life and a regular job and stay the hell out of politics and especially CC. An unqualified real estate lawyer posing as a DA and a lying trust fund baby who runs for commissioner every 4 years and loses….just stop. THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN

I Said It

April 27th, 2010
6:15 pm

Stifiling,

Wake up. You have no facts, your perception is laughable, and you sound as ignorant as they come. It’s obvious you’ve been drinking someone’s Kool-Aid. Just too bad it’s not someone who lives in reality.

Stifiling...

April 27th, 2010
6:20 pm

Let me tell you..
Yeah Right!

Stifiling...

April 27th, 2010
6:46 pm

straight no chaser.
Put lipstick on a pig and it is still a pig…

The difference maker

April 27th, 2010
8:24 pm

DA Tracy Graham-Lawson is willing to hold rule breakers accountable for their actions; CCPS Superintendent Heatley is not. And that’s the primary reason law and order is on the upswing in Clayton and the public schools are not.

For years people have tried to warn you about out of town snake oil salesmen who were all show and no substance when it came to dealing with out of control behaviors in the schools.

But you didn’t want to listen, which is why you continue to get the substandard school system you richly and fully deserve.

Truth

April 27th, 2010
8:42 pm

The Cracker Barrel Attacker has bought “OFF” Tracy Graham Lawson! She’ll give him time served! All of these elected officials are already patting themselves on the back. Vote them out “Clear the Slate” put in new folks!

Stifiling...

April 28th, 2010
6:00 am

I said it…
If anyone is drinking kool-aid its you. The facts are there. You are laughable and ignorant.

Ex-clayton student

April 28th, 2010
6:17 am

Mr. Nobody, your mentality is the reason why so many cannot move forward. Your failure to admit what life is like for a black male student in Clayton County is scary. Why must I lie? The reality for black males in Clayton County speaks for itself. I am out of there so even your stupid comments do not affect me. Oh by the way I graduate from Morehouse in May.

Ex-clayton student

April 28th, 2010
9:00 am

It sad the way you hateful individuals come on this blog and dump all the young black youth into one group. There are more of us doing the right thing in spite of the lack of support from the community. Common sense tells anyone that violent offenders should be dealt with. VIOLENT OFFENSES ARE NOT WHAT MOST YOUTH ARE CHARGED WITH IN CLAYTON COUNTY. THAT IS NOT WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT.

Growing up we all make mistakes. In Clayton County you are damned from the start if you are a black male youth. Some of us get out though and see that we are not all doomed and one day we will be back.