Atlanta prosecutor loses big in primary

I’m happy to report that Paul Howard, Fulton County, Georgia’s district attorney, has gone down to crushing defeat in his primary race. Howard, who has been the DA for more than two decades, lost his runoff race with Fani Willis by more than 45 points.

Readers will recall that Howard charged Atlanta police officer Garrett Rolfe with felony murder in the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks. Brooks had fired a taser gun at Rolfe. Howard had recently declared a taser to be a deadly weapon under Georgia State law.

Charging Rolfe with murder is indefensible. It’s doubtful whether Rolfe even committed a crime. And Howard didn’t wait for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to complete its investigation.

The overcharging of Rolfe appeared to be an attempt by Howard to salvage victory in his primary race. Polling showed Howard to be well behind Willis, who ran ahead of him in the first round. Howard was laboring under charges of sexual harassment and corruption.

Now, Howard can fully devote himself to defending against these charges, plus an investigation into the way grand jury subpoenas were issued by his office in the Rayshard Brooks case.

Willis will become the new DA. Apparently, she faces no Republican opposition.

According to this report, Willis worked in Howard’s office for 16 years, and has been a defense attorney and a judge. She campaigned on promises to put more resources into investigating cases prior to making charging decisions, to implement pre-indictment diversion programs, to place more prosecutors in courtrooms, and to increase transparency in police use-of-force cases.

A quick Google search for Willis’ name coupled with that of George Soros came up empty. But then, why would Soros want to see a prosecutor like Paul Howard defeated?

Perhaps Willis’ biggest virtue is that she’s not Howard. We’ll know a lot more about her when we see what she does with the Rolfe prosecution.

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