In June 1995, Aron Tuff was charged for his third felony conviction and put behind bars for with mandatory life without parole. Twenty one years later, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal's criminal justice reform almost forgot Tuff—but the Southern Center for Human Rights didn't.
The news that 21 Savage had been detained by ICE on February 3 in many ways overshadowed the Super Bowl that was taking place just miles away from where the rapper was arrested. Here's an overview of everything that's happened in the case since then.
Fighting to kneel: A Kennesaw State University cheerleader sues for the right to protest on the playing field
Similar to San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, five cheerleaders for Kennesaw State University decided to kneel during the national anthem at a football game to protest unjustified killings by police officers. When the school decided to move them off the field if they were going to kneel, Tommia Dean, one of the cheerleaders, filed a lawsuit against the school's higher ups for restricting her freedom of speech.
BJay Pak, U.S. attorney in the northern district of Georgia, is the supercop tackling the region's most important crimes. The most prominent open investigation Pak is handling is the longstanding corruption pay-to-play probe at City Hall under the Kasim Reed administration.
The Fall Line is investigating the cases of seven Grady newborns who went missing decades ago—two of whom were never found. Inspired other true-crime dramas like Serial, Laurah Norton, a writer and Georgia State University senior lecturer, and Brooke Gently-Hargrove, a grief counselor, launched the true-crime serial podcast last year, which has since racked up 2.3 million listens.
Acquitting Tex McIver of malice murder meant the state had not proven that he had planned to kill his wife Diane. But convicting him of aggravated assault meant he had intended to shoot her.
In a 5-2 vote, the South Fulton city council agreed to lighten the punishment for possessing less than an ounce of marijuana to a maximum of a $150 fine with no jail time—making the punishment for pot possession more akin to a traffic citation. After Clarkston and Atlanta, this makes South Fulton the third city in metro Atlanta to reduce the penalty for possessing a small amount of pot.
After a 6-year-old boy was killed and a 5-year-old girl mauled by loose dogs earlier this year, the Atlanta Police Department decided to create a new sworn position, Animal Cruelty Liaison Officer, to tackle animal cruelty cases and educate the community about the relationship between animal cruelty and crime. Meet Amy Soeldner, the first person to hold the position.
Emory students tackle unsolved, unpunished killings from the Civil Rights Movement—and draw parallels to today
Hank Klibanoff’s students are talking about running. Specifically, why an innocent black teenager would run from white cops in Macon in 1962. Simone Senibaldi, a senior, says, “The thing about running—for me and people that I know who are black—is that whenever cops are around, you run, regardless of whether you’re innocent or guilty.”
Anyone who’s watched an episode of The Americans, the FX series about Russian spies living undercover during the Cold War, has gotten a taste of the life Jack Barsky lived for more than 10 years as what U.S. intelligence called an “illegal.”