“Thank you for not plea bargaining” said George Boston Rhynes starting his series of videos on the ongoing third trial of Lula Smart of the Quitman 10+2. No newspapers, radio, or TV reporters at this trial about voters’ rights. But George is there.
Will three strikes against the prosecution make it give up on trying to convict the Quitman 10+2? Dear prosecutor, we know you read this blog, because you asked potential jurors at Lula Smart’s second trial,
Have you read or talked to or followed a blog called “On the Lake Front?”
So, dear prosecutor, when is enough enough?
The retrial voter fraud case has been set for August 19 at Brooks County Courthouse. See this week’s issue for details.
So far as I know, Quitman Free Press only prints on paper and does not post any articles online, so we have to guess they’re referring to the Quitman 10.
When George Rhynes first posted about the arrests of the Quitman 10 in December 2010, he remarked:
Today’s arrest will surely end up in the courts.
Who would have expected it to be in the courts three times?
In July 2012, the Chair of the Brooks County Board of Elections tried to throw George Boston Rhynes out of her board’s meeting Continue reading
George Boston Rhynes interviewed Brooks County Commissioner James Maxwell outside the courthouse in Quitman on a rainy day:
Mistrial! Another mistrial.
And the prosecutor wants to schedule another trial. George asked the Commissioner how much another trial would cost Brooks County.
It will cost quit a bit of money. We could use that money on a day like today to repair roads. People can’t get in and out and here we are wasting the taxpayers on another mistrial.
No evidence! No evidence! And another mistrial.
VDT editorial yesterday, Violating public trust,
Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens successfully fought for and implemented changes to the state’s Open Records law, believing that transparency in government is essential to the public trust. The law passed in 2012 states, “The General Assembly finds and declares that the strong public policy of this state is in favor of open government; that open government is essential to a free, open, and democratic society; and that public access to public records should be encouraged to foster confidence in government and so that the public can evaluate the expenditure of public funds and the efficient and proper functioning of its institutions.”
The VDT asked for records from the Lowndes County school system and didn’t get them. Their experience sounds quite similar to many LAKE has had with the county government in particular, with records not being provided in the statutory three days, and sometimes not even an excuse or a list of what might eventually be available.
That plus failure to make even agendas for the Planning Commission available in a timely fashion so citizens can see whether they need to attend (somebody explain to me the expense of agendas; clearly I don’t understand this Internet suff), and even in response to open records requests returning paper when the documents are obviously composed in electronic formats, agendas for County Commission meetings that are just plain incorrect, resulting in people taking time off from work to show up unnecessarily for a Sabal Trail pipeline item that didn’t happen, a public hearing that wasn’t listed as such on the agenda, a secretive retreat “work session”, and not even being clear about what tax dollars for SPLOST would go for. That’s not even all; just a sample of county government lack of transparency.
And it’s not just the County Commission. Look at Continue reading
Here’s Part 1 of 3:
George says witnesses today talked about voter intimidation and some said they would not vote again because of this investigation on the Quitman 10+2. He says the GBI agent was asked how they were trained before they were sent to Brooks County, and they had little training in voting investigations, plus they took ballots home from the Board of Elections, including some with no addresses for any of the persons they were investigating.
George also reported WCTV had a camera in the courtroom, after you may recall Continue reading
9 people were arrested just across the Florida line in Madison on charges similar to the Quitman 10, but on trial all charges have been dropped except for 2, as George Rhynes pointed out.
Interviewing one of their lawyers 20 December 2012, George heard that at least her clients refused to accept plea bargains.
The Madison 9 were arrested in November 2011, and the obvious question came, as Trymaine Lee wrote for Huffpo 18 January 2013, Nine Election-Related Arrests In Florida: A Case Of Voter Fraud Or Voter Suppression?
As soon as Judy Ann Crumitie answered the banging on her door one November morning Continue reading
Trials for the Quitman 10+2 have finally started. George Boston Rhynes is covering them every day on YouTube.
The only other reporter George has seen there was one from the Valdosta Daily Times. George is waving a copy of the VDT here as he discusses what the case is about: the Quitman 10 registered enough voters that several black people got elected to the school board in Brooks County for the first time ever.
It’s not so much what you know as what you can prove, says a concerned father, and the mother wants better representation for others whose children like her daughter have gotten caught in a felony with little if any evidence at school.
Mrs. Watkins said after her daughter was tackled at school be a deputy, she found “there are a lot of children in the judicial system that may not have good representation.” She and Mr. Watkins and George Boston Rhynes are starting an organization to at least show concern. George said in one visit to juvenile court he encountered two families with problems with probation and law enforcement knocking down doors and searching without search warrants.
Mr. Watkins wants to help people know their rights. Things we older folk may have done as children now there are laws against, and the children and their families need to know things like the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor, and the importance of writing things down. “Details is all that matters.” Later he noted that Continue reading
Mrs. Watkins said a sheriff’s deputy used excessive force against her daughter and despite no evidence her daughter was charged with a felony. George Boston Rhynes asked:
If your child would have been been caught with what her child have experienced, wouldn’t you want somebody in Valdosta and Lowndes County and the state of Georgia and the state and the nation to know what had happened to your child?
According to Mrs. Watkins, between 11AM and noon on 14 May 2013 she Watkins was called by the principal of Pine Grove Middle School saying her daughter had assaulted her. When Mrs. Watkins got there Deputy Robert Adkins told her he was going to charge her daughter with several charges, even though he had no statement from anyone. When she got home, she found a facebook video of two children attacking her daughter, who wasn’t attacking anyone, and the teacher was never struck, which the deputy also confirmed he had not heard happened. Yet Mrs. Watkins said none of the other children were charged and her daughter was charged with a felony. See for yourself what she said, in a lot more detail:
Here’s the video:Continue reading
The South Georgia Regional Library Board of Trustees will be meeting Tuesday, March 19 at 1PM in the Folsom Room of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Public Library to conduct regular business.The meeting is open to the public and all are welcome to attend. For more information call 333.0086.
Yes, that says March, but the calendar entry says May 21, today. And it says “open to the public and all are welcome to attend”. But are all welcome to record? Or do all have to stay inside an 8×4 foot blue rectangle next to a loud air cleaner? Was that just Kay Harris’ policy and will it change now that she has resigned as chair and from the board?
If there’s anything about this meeting on the library’s website, I can’t find it.