Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

Racially Motivated Murders in Georgia by Police Officers

Posted by Richard Lawson | Dec 22, 2017 | 0 Comments

This past week three Washington County deputies were indicted for murder in the death of a 58-year-old African-American man, Euree Lee Martin. Officers Michael Howell, Henry Copeland, and Rhett Scott tased Martin when they said he acted suspiciously after asking a stranger for water. 

However, there was no evidence that the victim had broken any laws. It is believed that race was a factor in the murder. The deputies have been charged with felony murder, false imprisonment, and aggravated assault.

Another racially motivated murder resulted in five people being arrested this past October. However, this case was from the 1983 murder of a 23-year-old black man. The victim was found brutally murdered October 9, 1983, in Spalding County. After the initial investigation, the case went cold until March of 2017. 

New evidence has recently resulted in the arrest of five people, 34 years after the murder. The Spalding County Sheriff's Office commented that the evidence establishes that the crime was racially motivated and that if the crime happened today, it would have been a hate crime. 

Murder Does Not Have a Statute of Limitations:

One of the elements that distinguish crimes involving murder apart from other offenses is that there is no statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is a law that prohibits prosecutors from charging a person with a crime that was committed a specific number of years ago. 

After the specified period has passed, a guilty person is essentially free from prosecution. There is, however, no statute of limitations for murder, meaning a person can be charged with murder no matter how many years have passed since the killing. That is why the five people could still be charged with the murder even though 34 years had passed. In murder cases, the investigations are ongoing as new evidence comes in. Society has a strong interest in making sure all murders are solved and prosecuted; that is why murder has no statute of limitations.

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About the Author

Richard Lawson

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