These sorts of rumors are frequent around the new year and when new laws take effect. What your friend may be referring to is that during Georgia’s 2011 regular legislative session Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law a bill to create a state panel to study and overhaul Georgia’s sentencing laws.
We shall see. Not sure why Mr. Rodriguez knew from Indiana about the "Special Council" that was appointed to conduct criminal justice reform, but his comment is accurate. The Report issued by this Council recommends a judicial safety valve for SOME minimum mandatory sentences. The way I read the report, it applies to ONLY drug charges not other minimum mandatory sentences. I do not know how it would be applied to sentenced prisoners. There is also some discussion in the Report about sentencing reform in general, including prisoners already sentenced.
There is no way to know what will happen, but since Governor Deal is pushing for reform, I believe we will see something passed this upcoming term because this Council was comprised of representatives from all branches of government and our prison system is running at 107% of capacity. What shape this reform will take is hard to say, as the Council recommends that a permament Council be appointed and we may see baby steps taken. Keep your eyes and ears open to see what happens between later this month, when the General Assembly opens its doors, and April or so. Good question! Jim.
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The current governor has endorsed looking into sentencing laws and as another answer indicates, there also is an ongoing study of sentencing reform.
There is no way to guess what the legislature may do, but there is some sentiment to look at alternatives to jail for some non-violent and drug crimes. Likely any changes would apply to new cases rather than existing sentences.
We'll know in a few months if anything concrete is passed.