Below is the letter we'll send to District Attorney Fani Willis
Tell DA Fani Wilis: Clear the Backlog
HAPPENING NOW: 263 people have been released from Fulton County Jail. This morning, the Fulton County Board of Commissioners released the Fulton County Operational Report, which revealed a 7% reduction in the jail population.
While this a critical step forward in clearing the backlog of people being held pretrial in the Fulton County Jail, the fight isn't over.
Conditions at the Fulton County Jail are still a humanitarian crisis. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis can change the tragic conditions.
Lashawn Thompson, a 35-year-old Black man, died while incarcerated at the Fulton County Jail. Lashawn was found in his cell covered with insect bites and feces. He had been in custody for three months on a misdemeanor assault charge. Most recently, Samuel Lawrence, 34, who had been incarcerated since December 2022, was found unresponsive in his cell in late August and died at a local hospital.
In early August, Christopher Smith, 34, was found dead in his cell. Court records show he had been held on charges for three years and 10 months. Shamar McLeroy, 21, died in October 2022 while waiting trial on charges for more than eight months. Montay Stinson, 40, who was arrested October 2022 on a felony charge, had been held awaiting trial for 10 months when he died in August 2023. Each of these Black men were separated from loved ones and community members for months on end all because they couldn’t afford to pay bail.
Fulton County is a national outlier by jailing its residents at a rate nearly three times that of other urban counties.
Yet, DA Willis has a responsibility to seek a speedy trial for all defendants. Sadly, despite these deaths, her office continues to allow people to be held for extended periods while awaiting indictment or trial. Too many people are being held — and too many being held are dying — because of the failures of DA Willis’ office.
Join us in demanding that she dedicates more prosecutors to resolving cases in a timely fashion, and to focus on those who are currently incarcerated.
Here is the Petition:
Dear District Attorney Fani Willis:
The situation at the Fulton County Jail has become a humanitarian crisis and you have the power to act and change the tragic conditions.
That's why we are looking for you to take action and seek a speedy trial for all defendants, but you allow people to be held for extended periods while awaiting indictment or trial.
Fulton County is a national outlier in terms of the number of people incarcerated and held pretrial. The county jails its residents at a rate nearly three times that of other urban counties. Your office has a responsibility to clear the backlog and ensure no one is held behind bars simply because they can’t afford to pay bail.
Too many people are being held — and dying — because of the failures of your offices to process cases in a timely fashion. We strongly urge you to dedicate more prosecutors to resolving cases in a timely fashion, and to focus on those who are currently incarcerated.