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Mar 12, 2005 5:16 pm


Atlanta Murders ...



My wife is assistant director of volunteer services at Grady Memorial Hospital here in Atlanta, where a superior court judge, a deputy sheriff, and a court clerk were murdered this morning and two other persons were injured by a criminal court defendant. The hospital is in the area where the killer is being sought by local police. I have not heard from her, but I assume that she is o. k. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and WSB-TV have the latest reports.
Update: At 6:15 p.m., my wife is safely home and there's no reason to think that she was ever in danger, but as more details of today's events become known, the lack of adequate security measures around the Fulton County Courthouse is increasingly disturbing.
Update: On Saturday, 11:30 a.m., the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and WSBTV are reporting that the suspect in the Atlanta courtroom murders is in custody.
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Sandor A. Lopescu - 4/16/2005

We already know she failed her weapons exams? Wow, that's a pretty quick turn-around time for persoanl info. Makes you wonder why they let her on the job at all.


Sandor A. Lopescu - 4/16/2005

You're right, but having just served on a jury (for the first time in my life) I can tell you that most of the jurors made their decisions "from the beginning."


Oscar Chamberlain - 3/12/2005

MAy you and your wife have a peaceful weekend. And more.


John H. Lederer - 3/12/2005

"We authorize only very few people to use deadly force in our society; it's one of the linchpins of our system of government. I'm not bloodthirsty, but it does seem to me that we should limit these authorizations to competent people."

I thought that anyone was entitled to use deadly force when in reasonable fear of loss of life or grave bodily harm.

Except in Texas where things are more lax...


Greg James Robinson - 3/11/2005

I am keeping my fingers crossed for you, Ralph


Jonathan Dresner - 3/11/2005

Reminds me of the story from about two years ago of a police officer (female again, if memory serves) who was so upset at the noise and tumult of a neighbor's pool party that she literally emptied a full clip at the crowd.... without injuring anyone. And I seem to recall a case of a recent traffic stop (two male officers, this time) in which whole clips of rounds were fired without injury or property damage....

We authorize only very few people to use deadly force in our society; it's one of the linchpins of our system of government. I'm not bloodthirsty, but it does seem to me that we should limit these authorizations to competent people.


Oscar Chamberlain - 3/11/2005

One of my colleagues is a retired judge. He told me this morning that he never allowed guards to have weapons in his court because he didn't think they had the qualifications to know when to shoot. In his case, one factor were walls thin enough that bullets could penetrate them. But he was also concerned about situations like this.


Ralph E. Luker - 3/11/2005

Good catch, Jon. That's one of many questions that are likely to be raised about this whole incident. How on earth could a defendent with charges against him as serious as his were be in any position to seize a weapon in a courtroom from a deputy sheriff? I probably wouldn't have posted anything about this case, except that we've recently had a number of high profile situations in which judges and/or their family members have been killed. There are reports that the deputy whose gun was seized had failed qualifying exams for handling her weapon. It just doesn't give you much confidence that all the post-9/11 talk about security has done much more than employ a lot of people and served as a good agenda tool.


Jonathan Dresner - 3/11/2005

Obviously, I hope this is resolved quickly and your wife is fine.

On the Atlanta J-C article they had a quotation from a juror who said "I thought the guy was guilty from the beginning...." which I think needs some explanation. Jurors aren't supposed to think that, I'm pretty sure.

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