Be Still

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Be still, and know that I am God. – Psalm 46:10

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. – Matthew 11:28

The last month has been a trying time for my family and I. My Dad hit his head on the garage floor, and as a result of it, he has a subdermal hematoma. Over the last month, it has had a negative effect on his mobility and his ability to speak. Thankfully, we got the proper medical care and advise to where he is in surgery getting this hematoma removed from his brain. During the last few days, these bible verses have been in the front of my mind. At the hospital where my Dad is being treated, they have a chapel. This stained glass window is in the chapel. It calms me, and it is the embodiment of these verses to me. I know that my father is in good hands, and I will see him soon.

Down on the corner 

Down on the corner

A post shared by Daniel (@drp_jd_uga) on

Throwback Thursday – The Path

There's a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.

I am quite proud of this photograph. I took this picture at the Etowah Indian Mounds in Cartersville, Georgia back in 2006. I took it with my 35mm camera. This is part of the path that goes around the park. I found this section of the trail alluring and I had to take a picture to remind myself of its power, and I still do.

G-Day Memories

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This photo was from the G-Day game back in 2014. I had a great time walking around Stanford Stadium taking pictures with my cell phone and my 35mm camera. I don’t think that Stanford Stadium is going to be this empty on Saturday. I anticipate that is going to be closer to what a normal game Between the Hedges.

The Need for Speed (Part Two of Three)

Unlike the prior post about a defendant’s statutory right to a speedy trial, this post will be in a question and answer format. In addition, the rules surrounding a defendant’s constitutional right to a speedy trial are not synonymous with speed, but it’s antonym.

When does a defendant’s constitutional right to a speedy trial begin?

The Georgia Appellate Courts has held that the constitutional right to a speedy trial for a defendant attaches either when law enforcement arrests the client or when the State brings formal charges against a defendant, whichever is earlier. This is in contrast to a defendant’s statutory right to a speedy trial under OCGA §17-7-70, which states that this statutory right attaches when the State brings formal charges against the defendant.

How does a defendant seek how to enforce his claim that the State has violated his constitutional right to a speedy trial?

If a defendant believes that the State has violated his constitutional right to a speedy trial, he has to file a motion seeking the dismissal of the charges against him.

When can a defendant file a motion claiming that the State has violated his constitutional right to a speedy trial?

A defendant can file a motion, at any time. However, the decisions of the Georgia Appellate Courts indicate that they will only scrutinize a defendant’s claim that the State has violated his constitutional right to a speedy trial when a year has passed. The Georgia Court of Appeals has held that “greater pretrial delays simultaneously increase the degree of prejudice presumed and decrease the expectation that the defendant can demonstrate tangible prejudice to his or her ability to present a defense.” Yet, the Georgia Supreme Court has held in their rulings that the mere passage of time alone does not compel a finding that the State has violated a defendant’s constitutional right to a speedy trial.

Does a defendant have to file a demand for a speedy trial before he can claim that the State has violated his right to a constitutional speedy trial?

No, the filing of a demand for a speedy trial is not necessary for a Defendant to invoke his constitutional right to a speedy trial. Yet, the absence of proof that a defendant has invoked his right to a speedy trial does weigh heavily against him.

What does a judge have to consider when making a decision on whether the State has violated a defendant’s constitutional right to a speedy trial?

There a number of factors to consider in determining whether there has been a violation of a defendant’s constitutional right to a speedy trial, and they are the following:

a.) the length of the delay,
b.) the reason for the delay,
c.) assertion by the defendant of his right to a speedy trial, and
d.) prejudice to the defendant. See Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514 (1972).

No one factor dictates whether there has been a violation of a defendant’s constitutional right to a speedy trial. The trial court must engage in a balancing test in determining if there has been a violation of a defendant’s constitutional right to a speedy trial. In determining whether there has been prejudice to a defendant, the trial court must consider three things:

a.) preventing oppressive pre-trial detention
b.) minimizing anxiety and concern of the defendant, and
c.) limiting the possibility that the defense will be impaired.

What happens if a judge agrees that a defendant’s constitutional right to a speedy trial has been violated?

If a judge agrees with the defendant, then the double jeopardy provisions of the Georgia and United States Constitution will bar the State from prosecuting the defendant. For this reason, judges take these types of motions seriously, and are not quick to grant them.

The Historical Lumpkin County Courthouse

The Old Lumpkin County Courthouse

Lumpkin County was officially established in 1832. Named in honor of Wilson Lumpkin, who served in both state houses, as governor, and the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate. The county was carved out of what were then Cherokee, Hall, and Habersham counties. This courthouse was built in 1836. It is one of the oldest public buildings in the State of Georgia. This courthouse was in use until 1965, when a new courthouse was built. The current building was converted to house the gold museum honoring the discovery of gold in Georgia and the resulting gold rush.

Lumpkin County Courthouse Historical Marker

According to the Historical Marker on the courthouse square in Dahlonega, Georgia:

This court house, built in 1836, replaced the small log structure used since the establishment of Lumpkin County in 1832. The town was named Dahlonega in October, 1833, for the Cherokee word “Talonega” meaning “golden.”

From its steps in 1849, Dr. M.F. Stephenson, assayor at the Mint, attempted to dissuade Georgia miners from leaving to join the California gold rush. His oration gave rise to the sayings: “There´s millions in it,” and “Thar´s gold in them thar hills.”

Gordon County – Home of the Cherokee

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According to the Gordon County Website,

The Cherokee Indians originally occupied all lands that would become Gordon County. The Gordon County area was home to New Echota, capital of the Cherokee Nation from 1825 to 1835. New Echota was the birthplace of the written Cherokee language and newspaper, the Cherokee Phoenix. Even while Cherokees remained on their homeland, the Georgia General Assembly enacted legislation in December 1830 that provided for surveying the Cherokee Nation and dividing it into sections, districts, and land lots. Subsequently, the Georgia legislature identified this entire area as ”Cherokee County” (even though it never functioned as a county). An act of the General Assembly on December 3, 1832 divided the Cherokee lands into ten new counties – Cass (later renamed Bartow), Cherokee, Cobb, Floyd, Forsyth, Gilmer, Lumpkin, Murray, Paulding, and Union. Cherokee lands were distributed to whites in a land lottery, but the Georgia legislature temporarily prohibited whites from taking possession of lots on which Cherokees still lived.

It was not until December 29, 1835 that Georgia had an official basis for claiming the unceded Cherokee lands that included the future location of Gordon County. In the Treaty of New Echota, a faction of the Cherokees agreed to give up all Cherokee claims to land in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, and North Carolina and move west in return for $5,000,000. Though a majority of Cherokees opposed the treaty and refused to leave, the United States and Georgia governments considered it binding. In 1838, U.S. Army troops rounded up the last of the 15,000 Cherokees in Georgia and forced them to march west in what came to be known as the infamous “Trail of Tears.”