Atlanta, June 22, 2015 – Earlier today the Supreme Court of Georgia issued a temporary stay of
the death penalty trial proceedings of Jamie Donnell Hood to consider whether it would grant the
State’s “emergency motion” for a full appeal of a number of rulings by the Athens-Clarke
County Superior Court. Among the issues the State challenged was the trial court’s decision to
select jurors in Elbert County and transport them to Athens to serve as the jury in Hood’s case.
The Supreme Court has now issued an order denying the State’s emergency motion and has
lifted the temporary stay of proceedings.
However, in this order, the high court notes that in addition to the emergency motion the State
filed in the Supreme Court, the State also filed a “notice of appeal” in the Athens trial court. The
state Supreme Court must now determine whether that “notice of appeal” may independently
justify letting an appeal go forward. The Supreme Court’s order directs the trial court clerk to
immediately transmit that notice of appeal to the Supreme Court so it can consider its effect. The
Supreme Court cautions the parties and the trial court to “examine” whether the trial court had
the authority to proceed in the case once the notice of appeal was filed but before the Supreme
Court received and considered it. Once the high court receives the State’s notice of appeal, it will
decide whether to hear an appeal or dismiss it. If it dismisses it, the trial court would regain the
authority to proceed with the case.