Many would argue that not everyone who does something illegal should face criminal repercussions. However, new proposals being put forward by Republicans make it clear that some people disagree with this premise, at least under certain circumstances.
Ensuring that everyone faces prosecution if they are accused of any kind of illegal activity is one of the focuses of two pieces of legislation that some Georgia Republicans are currently attempting to pass – House Bills 229 and 231.
Currently, prosecutors can use their discretion
Prosecutors generally realize that certain instances are not worth the court’s time or do not warrant criminal punishment. This approach is reasonable, as prosecuting someone for a minor offense can do immense damage to their life and that of their family, which is response by the state that is profoundly disproportionate to the nature of some offenses. One common example that some prosecutors decide against pursuing involves the possession of a small amount of marijuana.
These new bills push back aggressively against prosecutorial discretion. Backers of the proposed legislation claim that it won’t affect the professional rights of prosecutors to assess each case individually. They say that the measures will only affect prosecutors if they fail to prosecute individuals for particular category of offenses. Yet, it is difficult to imagine a reality in which this measure doesn’t lead to more minor offenders burdened by criminal records.
Due to the ever-changing nature of the legal landscape, it is even always crucial to seek legal help if you are accused of a crime, however minor it the accusations against you may be.