This year's legislatively enacted criminal discovery law will be the most influential change in criminal law in many years. Only slightly less significant is the Georgia constitutional enactment of a true life-without- parole sentence. Both changes will vastly increase the cost of the criminal justice system to the taxpayer. The latter will probably increase the cost of crime to the criminal. These legislative events dwarf any changes by the courts.
Nevertheless, there are many cases of substantial note in the survey period for this year. The procedure and proper charge to the jury for an abandonment trial was changed. Apparently one may "escape" from civil or criminal contempt custody without incurring criminal sanction. There appears to be no defense of "abandonment" for a charge of "criminal attempt" to commit a crime. Lawyers should probably avoid motions to adopt other attorneys' motions and requests to charge by reference only to the Pattern Jury Instructions. Mass arraignments are a mess, and the court of appeals abolished the "plea reserving an appeal."
Mills, Frank C. III
Mercer Law Review: Vol. 46:
1, Article 7.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.mercer.edu/jour_mlr/vol46/iss1/7