Georgia bill stiffens punishment for gang-related activity: ‘we will come after you’

Georgia lawmakers have proposed a bill that would increase prison terms for anyone convicted of gang activity, whether involved in a crime or recruiting minors to join a gang. .

“We’re making it clear to all groups in Georgia: come after our kids, and we’ll come after you,” Gov. Brian Kemp said Tuesday.

Governor Brian Kemp (R-GA) speaks during an election night party after winning the Republican nomination for governor at the College Football Hall of Fame on May 24, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Nathan Posner/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The governor joined Attorney General Chris Carr at the Georgia Anti-Gang Network in Atlanta on Tuesday, where local, state and federal partners met to discuss new and ongoing anti-recruitment efforts, including one in the state Senate. The bill also includes an increase in fines. Anyone involved in gang activities.

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The bill amends the Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act by adding tougher penalties for those who recruit minors into gangs.

At a minimum, if a person is convicted of a gang crime, an additional 5 to 20 years will be added to their sentence to be served consecutively.

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If a person is convicted of recruiting minors into a gang, that defendant faces an additional 10-20 years to his sentence for a first offense and 15-25 years for a second or subsequent conviction. will be punished.

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No portion of the additional time shall be open to suspension or probation unless the judge finds that the defendant is not the perpetrator of criminal activity, is not in possession of a firearm or dangerous weapon, has died or is seriously injured. No injury occurred, or the defendant has no precedent. Punishment for crime.

If a judge chooses to suspend time for any of these reasons, the judge needs to state on the record why.

Republican Gov. Brian Kemp addresses supporters at a watch party after winning re-election on November 8, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Republican Gov. Brian Kemp addresses supporters at a watch party after winning re-election on November 8, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Megan Werner/Getty Images)

“Gang activity targeting our schools and our children is particularly serious and will not be tolerated,” Carr said. “Together with Governor Brian Kemp and members of the General Assembly, we are working to ensure that those who recruit our children into a life of violent crime are vigorously pursued and prosecuted. We will continue to act as a force multiplier in our ongoing efforts to keep all Georgians safe, with federal law enforcement partners.”

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Gov. Kemp and Carr announced in November 2022 the indictment of 17 alleged members of the 1-8 Tree Buildings in Barrow County.

According to the indictment, the accused allegedly engaged in fraud to illegally obtain money, weapons and property for their gang. These activities include murder, aggravated assault, armed robbery, fentanyl and methamphetamine trafficking, and arson.

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The defendants were also accused of recruiting children through block parties and arranging for an ice cream truck to stop in a local neighborhood.

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