Legal Analysis of Pre-trial Motions Regarding Atlanta Educators

first_img It could be another week before Fulton Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter rules on a motion that the 35 indicted Atlanta educators were compelled to make statements in the state’s cheating investigation.These are the statements which the Fulton County District Attorney’s office plans to use in the criminal case.Tuesday Judge Baxter indicated he was leaning toward ruling in favor of the defendants.1:26What it comes down to is whether or not the statements made by the educators fall under the 1967 Supreme Court ruling based on the case Garrity vs. New Jersey.It protects public employees, like school teachers and police officers, who are required to cooperate with investigators or face the loss of their job.But there’s more.WABE legal analyst and criminal defense attorney Page Pate says, “Anything you say cannot be used against you in a criminal proceeding.”The only exception, says Pate, is if the compelled statements are false.If Judge Baxter rules the Atlanta educators were coerced into making statements Pate says that could mean a major setback for the prosecution.“It gets real messy because of the use of the Garrity statements to form the basis of the RICO allegations and some of the other counts in the indictment.”That 65-count indictment of all the educators was problematic from the beginning says Pate.Tuesday Judge Baxter said he could grant the motion and then wait for a higher court’s ruling on appeal.Which makes sense says Pate.“You don’t want to try a case like this twice. So, if Judge Baxter wants to make sure he has the correct legal ruling then he’ll give the other side the opportunity to take up one what we call an interlocutory appeal for immediate review and then let the court of appeals issue a decision so that you know if you’re going forward to trial, you have ruling that should at least stand up on appeal.” Share Legal Advocate Discusses Medical Abuse At Shut Down Georgia ICE Facility For Whom The Bell Rings Related Stories 1:26 | Play story Add to My ListIn My List ‘It’s Fractured’: Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan On Healing Republican Partylast_img read more