Pike County Times

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PO Box 843, Zebulon, Georgia 30295. You can donate through PayPal at the link on the bottom of the page. Becky Watts: Phone # 770-468-7583 editor(@)pikecountytimes.com
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A Look Behind the Curtain
By Guest Columnist Marie Broder, District Attorney for the Griffin Judicial Circuit

GRIFFIN - Much of my Office’s work is in the public eye. We regularly conduct trials and hearings that anyone can attend. Some of these cases become a topic for local media and social media discussion groups, and some even attract national media attention. But these cases are just a snapshot of what happens daily.

A wise man once said, “integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” I believe this to be true of the people in my offices. Across the Circuit, when no one is watching, thousands of cases are handled with little or no public fanfare. And these cases are still difficult. We review every child death that occurs in the Circuit, no matter what the cause of death might be. We view murder scenes, we review photos of horrific events, we interview victims of child molestations and rapes, and we face, head on, true evil in this world.

We make the difficult decisions. Sometimes, the evidence in a case does not fit the requirements of the law. For example, not all threats may be chargeable as “terroristic threats,” depending on the language used. Similarly, what may seem like a straight-forward murder to some, upon detailed investigation, is actually a case of self-defense. Sometimes, a wrongdoer is allowed to plead to lesser charges in exchange for a lesser sentence. This may be because of an admission of guilt or cooperation as a witness. Finally, sometimes, charges are dismissed. This may be because there is simply not enough evidence to prove the case, or the case should be handled civilly. My ethical duties require me to dismiss those cases.

Gratitude is a rare occurrence, but we are not in this job for accolades and attention. We do this job day in and day out because we all believe, very deeply, in keeping you safe. We see first-hand that there is a tide of crime threatening to drown out the beauty and goodness in this Circuit and we are here to fight it.

I am very proud of my employees who make these difficult decisions. I call on them to be warriors and they are up to the challenge. This column is my thank you to my team. I am honored that God blessed me to serve you and the public. If you see one of my employees, please tell them thank you. I can assure you they haven’t heard it enough. Until next time, please be kind to each other.

Submitted 8.11.20