Some teachers in APS cheating scandal ask Georgia Supreme Court for new trials – WSB-TV Channel 2
ATLANTA — Georgia Supreme Court justices will decide whether some of the Atlanta public school educators convicted in a cheating scandal should get a new trial.
The high court heard arguments on Tuesday.
Half of the educators convicted of the APS scandal are waiting to see if they can get a new trial.
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During the criminal case, the court-appointed law firm told Judge Jerry Baxter that it had a conflict of interest and could not represent educators, but Baxter denied the court’s request. cabinet to recuse itself. An appeals court did the same, so the company took its case all the way to the Georgia Supreme Court.
Attorney Stephen Scarborough appeared in Georgia’s highest court to explain why six of the 11 educators convicted in the APS scandal should get a new trial.
“We all agree, I believe, that the right to undivided loyalty is at the heart of our system. … The Court of Appeal’s court opinion below, in our opinion, rests on one leg respectively, and we respectively suggest that it is frail,” Scarborough said.
The judges pushed back and asked where the line should be drawn because a court-appointed lawyer could say they have a conflict for many reasons.
“I’m going to be in Barbados and so I can’t zealously represent my client and my client really, this is a really important case, my client deserves Sixth Amendment law, and I can’t provide them because I am going to be on the beach. How does the rule you are asking us to establish not cover this scenario?” asked a judge.
“I think this is a case where the court can say it’s a frivolous scenario,” Scarborough said.
The Chief Justice mentioned another scenario.
“The public defender is replaced by a new public defender three days before the trial, a trial that has been set for a long time, he walks in and says, ‘I cannot perform my professional responsibilities with skill and diligence and represent my client at trial in three days into a case that has been pending for three years,” Judge Baxter said. “We start the trial on Wednesday, I deny your continuation.”
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There was no decision on Tuesday, but the chief justice said the court would issue a decision as soon as possible.
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