ACLU of Georgia

Press Statement: Georgia Legislature passed flawed bill to silence demand for police accountability, substantially reduced penalty for deliberately killing a police officer


Media contact: Ana Maria Rosato

Atlanta – “In their haste to silence Georgians’ demand for police accountability, the state legislature has produced a severely flawed bill that may substantially reduce penalties for deliberately killing a police officer,” said Andrea Young, executive director of the ACLU of Georgia.

  • Section 6 of HB 838 conflicts with existing Georgia law and creates uncertainty in how the law would actually be applied. 
  • Under current Georgia law, the punishment for murder includes death, imprisonment for life without the possibility of parole, or imprisonment for life. 
  • Under HB838, the maximum imprisonment for murdering a police officer is five years and/or a maximum fine of $5,000. 
  • Under the rule of lenity, when statues are unclear, courts resolve such lack of clarity or ambiguity by applying the law in a manner that is most favorable to the accused.[1]

[1] See United States v. Bass, 404 U.S. 336 (1971)

Media contact: Ana Maria Rosato,