DA Anita Howard hosts lunchtime conversations
MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — District Attorney Anita Howard for the Macon Judicial Circuit sat down with Community Facilitators LJ Malone, Jaime Kaplan, and Amber Jones to host a Q&A style “Lunchtime Conversation”, in which she answered the community’s questions relating to how she’s handled different things in the District Attorney’s office.
A livestream of the conversation was posted to social media on Thursday August 19, 2021, starting at 11:30 a.m. and finishing off at 1:oo p.m.
The hour and a half long conversation went in many different directions, starting off with how the COVID-19 pandemic and recent Delta Variant surge has affected her office and the justice system in Macon. DA Howard said that COVID has affected her office “greatly”, citing that she and her team were prepared to get through cases with violent offenders when concerns involving COVID numbers in Bibb County and in the court making the situation frustrating for her staff. Howard then explained how pandemic has lasted a lot longer than anyone anticipated, but despite that they “have got to have the wheels of justice turning”.
Howard also addresses the idea of “virtual testimonies” and how many people are choosing to wait until their trials can happen in person, as the stakes are high- often involving life sentences, and they want their case’s information brought to the jury in the best form possible.
A question concerning legal processes that leads to the DA’s office prompts Howard announce a new initiative called “DA 101”, that was made in response to the frequent questions and phone calls their office receives related to what it is that the DA office does. In reference to this initiative, Howard then says: “This is the people’s office, and the people should know how this office operates.”
DA Howard also responds to a question referencing the “disposing” of cases, saying that she doesn’t have the power to release people from jail, as that’s something that’s done by a judge. Howard then explains that the “disposed of” cases are cases that “have been closed out,” or “have gone to a different stage.”
Throughout the rest of the conversation, DA Howard speaks on different programs the DA’s Office has participated in to create positive change in the community, as well as more talking points on what the DA’s office does.
For the full conversation, the livestream posted on the social media page for Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney, Anita R. Howard can be watched here: