Remembering another lynching one year later

Tuesday was the anniversary of the horrific killing of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old man, who was murdered by three white vigilantes while jogging through the Satilla Shores (Brunswick/Glynn County) neighborhood. 

As the prosecution’s case moves forward, Hank Klibanoff and his Emory University students produced a powerful seven-part Buried Truths podcast on the Ahmaud Arbery murder. 

One Year Later | Ahmaud

Read the rest

Bearing Witness: Jail time is no help

By John Cole Vodicka

Raymond M. suffers with the demons of addiction. He’s 29 years old. Since Dec. 29, he’s been in the Clarke County Jail, arrested yet again and waiting on whether his felony probation will be revoked, returning him to prison. Since 2014 Mr. M. has been locked up a number of times for things like entering automobiles, … Read the rest

Bearing Witness: Images of struggle can’t be erased

By John Vodicka

In my time in our courtrooms, I am constantly affected by something I’ve heard, something I’ve seen. By images. Sadly, these occurrences are often disturbing and heart-wrenching, leaving me aghast or angry, sometimes deflated.

This past Thursday, I observed Municipal Court misdemeanor arraignment proceedings. There were 10 defendants in the courtroom that morning. Thirty minutes into the hearings, a … Read the rest

Covid-19 in prisons and jails


There is still no public information coming out of the ACC sheriff’s office (or from local public health officials) about COVID’s spread (or containment) in the Clarke County jail. At least one elderly prisoner in the local jail was hospitalized recently with the virus.  His public defender told John Vodicka that he agonized for several days not knowing whether his … Read the rest

Court Watch marks two years

This week makes two years since the first court watch training event at Oconee Street United Methodist Church, an event more than 60 people attended. 

The training generated what has become the “Athens Area Courtwatch Project,” which has established a regular presence in the ACC courtrooms.  

Since early 2019, more than three dozen people have spent hundreds of hours observing … Read the rest