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Atlanta Teachers Trial Ends With Several Teachers Getting 20 Years In Jail

Atlanta Teachers To Be Sentence In Cheating Scandal That Equated To Racketeering...

CNNReports: Re-posted by Constable Court Services

There was nothing routine about a sentencing hearing Tuesday in Atlanta that wrote the final legal chapter of one of the most massive school cheating scandals in the country. Educators were convicted April 1 of racketeering and other lesser crimes related to inflating test scores of children from struggling schools. One teacher was acquitted. One by one, they stood, alongside their attorneys, before Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter. 

http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/14/us/georgia-atlanta-public-schools-cheating-scandal-verdicts/index.html

In this system, a jury decides guilt or innocence, the judge metes out punishment.
Throughout the five-month trial, Baxter has been pointed. Until Monday, he said he planned to sentence the educators to prison. When verdicts were reached, he ordered them directly to jail. But on Monday he changed his mind and decided to allow prosecutors to offer them deals that would have allowed them to avoid the possible 20-year sentence that racketeering carries. And that's why there were sparks when some of the educators, flanked by their attorneys, did not directly and readily admit their responsibility. Baxter was not pleased. He raised his voice numerous times and shouted at attorneys. Some attorneys shouted back. At one point, one of the defense lawyers said he might move to recuse the judge and the judge retorted that he could send that attorney to jail. "Everybody starts crying about these educators. This was not a victim-less crime that occurred in this city!" Baxter said.
 
Most of the teachers would not admit guilt, after the judge offered them a 2nd chance to negotiate with the States Attorney, most would not, so the judge handed down 20 years sentences for several teachers, leaving them in tears. Those with 20 year sentence would have to serve a minimum of 7 years confinement and 13 years of probation. Read More...
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