SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Prosecutors in Chatham County will have to take as many as 95 felony cases to a grand jury for a second time because a convicted felon was on the panel that issued the initial indictments.
Georgia law bars convicted felons from serving on grand or trial juries unless their civil rights have been restored, The Savannah Morning News reported.
At issue are cases that involve felony indictments returned since December.
Chatham Count's chief public defender, Michael Edwards, said public defenders this week are filing motions in Superior Court to dismiss those charges. About 40 such motions had been filed as of Friday.
"These indictments would be flawed," Edwards said. "We want them all dismissed."
The Morning News reports that additional challenges are anticipated from private defense lawyers.
The convicted felon who sat on the grand jury in question was Marion Simuel Jr. He was one of the 23 grand jurors on the December term that indicted the cases despite the fact he pleaded guilty to a charge of felony shoplifting on Sept. 16, 1997.
Information from: Savannah Morning News, http://www.savannahnow.com
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.