Atlanta, April 20, 2016 – Superior Court Judge Asha F. Jackson of the Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit has been designated to serve in place of Justice Harold D. Melton in the appeal of Evans v. The State (S16G0280). The Supreme Court of Georgia will hear arguments in the case on Tuesday, April 26, 2016 during its 10:00 A.M. session. In this Cherokee County case, a man convicted of child molestation is appealing a Georgia Court of Appeals ruling that he must serve at least the minimum prison sentence of five years because he was also convicted of sexual exploitation of children. In addition to hearing arguments, Judge Jackson will participate in the Court’s decision.

Judge Jackson, 40, was appointed to the DeKalb County Superior Court in February 2012 by Governor Nathan Deal. She was elected without opposition in 2014. Prior to her appointment to the
bench, Judge Jackson was a partner practicing commercial litigation at the Atlanta office of Barnes and Thornburg, LLP. Before that, she practiced tort litigation and professional negligence at the Atlanta office of Carlock, Copeland, and Stair, LLP. As a judge, she presides over more than 1,000 civil, criminal, and domestic cases assigned to her division.

Judge Jackson is very active in the community and is the creator of Project Pinnacle, a one year mandatory in-court experience requiring non-violent offenders under the age of 27 to meet with her and a number of volunteer community workers. The goal of Project Pinnacle is to discourage offenders from committing further offenses by providing them with life skills training, GED and technical school assistance, and moral recognition workshops. Judge Jackson also created and presides over DeKalb County’s first felony mental health accountability court, an intensive two-year program for persons with mental illness who are charged with felonies.

She is also active in the legal community and has held various leadership positions in the Atlanta Bar Association, the Gate City Bar Association, and the Georgia Association of Black
Women Attorneys. Judge Jackson volunteers with a number of organizations, including the State Commission on Family Violence, The Atlanta Area Council of Girl Scouts, The Atlanta Area Council of Boy Scouts, and The National Advisory Board of Forever Family, which serves children of incarcerated parents.

Judge Jackson has received a number of awards including the 2015 Urban League Dream Catcher’s Award, the 2014 National Bar Association Trailblazer Under 40 Award, the 2013 Justice Robert Benham Award for Community Service from the State Bar of Georgia, the 2013 Centennial Torch Award for Service and Leadership from Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the 2013 “Women Looking Ahead Magazine” Women in Leadership Award, the 2012 Community Service Award from the Atlanta Bar Association, and the 2011 Whitney M. Young Service Award from the Atlanta Area Council of Boy Scouts.

Judge Jackson belongs to the Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur, GA where she served on the board of the City of Hope and as a Deacon. She was born in Chicago, Illinois, but raised in Atlanta, where she graduated with honors from Frederick Douglass High School. Judge Jackson earned a BA in Health and Society from the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York, and was awarded a Juris Doctorate from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA in 2000. She lives in DeKalb County with her family and enjoys dancing and international travel.

(Designated judges are appointed to the Georgia Supreme Court when a justice must recuse himself or herself from a particular case. The Supreme Court of Georgia maintains a list of select judges from around the state and when the need arises, the Court appoints the next judge on the list.)