Lawyer Challenges Banishment In Ga.
August 3, 2011 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
ATLANTA, Aug. 3 (UPI) — A Georgia man who fired shots at a home, a convenience store and a water tower should not be banished from his home county, his lawyer says.
“It’s like banishing a child from their family,” attorney McNeill Stokes said after the state Court of Appeals ruled the practice constitutional, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
David N. Thompson, 28, is bipolar, and Stokes has challenged the banishment from DeKalb County for another 15 years in the Georgia Supreme Court.
“Georgia has got to stop banishing its citizens — particularly its mentally challenged citizens — to get rid of them,” he said.
The state’s high court has twice ruled it is legal to limit criminals to as few as one of the state’s 159 counties but not to ban them from the whole state, the Journal-Constitution said.
Thompson fired a shot from a rifle with a scope into the side of a brick house owned by his stepmother in 2004 and shot at a convenience store and water tower the same day. He said he was upset he had been denied his inheritance from his father, who committed suicide — a trash can bearing the University of North Carolina logo.
He is required to avoid all but 50 of the state’s less-populated counties.
He was sentenced to eight years in prison, but the term was later cut to four years, and 12 years of probation, then returned to prison for 18 months in 2009 after allegedly threatening a North Carolina woman he met online.