Georgia governor signs law allowing state commission to discipline and dismiss prosecutors

Democratic legislators claim the legislation is a Republican "witch hunt" against Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis for her case against Donald Trump.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed a law that allows a state commission to sanction and even dismiss prosecutors who, for ideological reasons or "lack of professional conduct," allow criminals to avoid jail or receive lesser sentences. Democrats claim that the bill is a "witch hunt" by conservatives that targets Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis for taking Donald Trump to court for alleged electoral interference in 2020.

Holding 'dishonest and incompetent prosecutors accountable'

Kemp justified his signature because the creation of the Commission on Prosecution Attorney Qualifications (PACQ) will ensure that "rogue or incompetent prosecutors are held accountable if they refuse to uphold the law." He also cited the crime wave that is ravaging the United States, for which he blamed soft prosecution of the law.

This legislation will help us ensure rogue or incompetent prosecutors are held accountable if they refuse to uphold the law. As we know all too well, crime has been on the rise across the country, and this is especially prevalent in cities where prosecutors are giving criminals a free pass or failing to put them behind bars due to lack of professional conduct.

Last year, Kemp made an initial attempt to give the green light to this commission, which was stopped by the Georgia Supreme Court. "My No. 1 priority is public safety across our state. ... The creation of the PACQ will help hold prosecutors driven by out-of-touch politics than commitment to their responsibilities accountable and make our communities safer.

'Witch hunt' against Willis

On the contrary, Democratic legislators denounced that this legislation is "a witch hunt" against Fani Willis for her case against Trump, and further that it will allow Republicans to end the case. However, Willis is not the only Georgian prosecutor that Kemp and other Republicans have been critical of. In the last few days, Deborah Gonzalez, district attorney of Athens-Clarke County, is at the center of criticism for her handling of the Laken Riley case, the nursing student whose body was found on the University of Georgia campus several weeks ago. The case has become the center of the national immigration debate.

In fact, according to Atlanta News First, a citizen of this county already filed a complaint against the district attorney last year because "Gonzalez has failed to attend court hearings, prosecute cases and advise grand juries." The lawsuit claims that 726 cases could be dismissed in Oconee County because Gonzalez is not prosecuting them. It further notes that, "even when Gonzalez prosecutes cases, she provides incomplete or inaccurate evidence and prosecutes cases under expired statutes."

'Unchecked power to remove prosecutors whose decisions they disagree with'

DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston was one of the first voices to speak out against the rule, claiming the new commission is a "group of political appointees--chosen solely by Republicans."

[The commission] has unchecked power to remove prosecutors whose decisions they disagree with, no matter how well a district attorney or solicitor general represents the voters who elected them in the courtroom.