Brian Kemp signs bill to remove local prosecutors
Brian Kemp in a Jan. 15, 2022, file photo, is expected to sign into law a measure that would allow Georgians to carry concealed handguns without a permit. - Todd Kirkland/Getty Images North America/TNS

Georgia Republican Governor Brian Kemp signed legislation Friday, May 5, that could eliminate local prosecutors from office, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Per The AJC, the governor's move to pass the bill is "part of an intensifying campaign by state Republicans to punish district attorneys they see as soft on crime."

More specifically, The AJC reports:

[The bill is] one of several new tough-on-crime measures adopted as part of broader Republican-endorsed public safety proposals. And it comes as several left-leaning district attorneys say they won’t seek charges against low-level drug offenders or prosecute violations of the state's anti-abortion law.

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"The timing of these bills shouldn't be lost on anyone," Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis told The Post earlier this year. “The GOP controlled legislature did not find such measures necessary until the state elected a record number of minority district attorneys who now serve the majority of Georgia's population."

Willis has been one of the most vocal state leaders against the new law.

The Post reports:

Willis, the district attorney in Fulton County, who is Black, has called the legislation 'dangerous' and said it will limit prosecutors' ability to carry out their work. She also has said that she considers the bill to be 'racist' because it subverts the power of the state's record number of district attorneys of color. Over half of the state’s population now lives in jurisdictions overseen by its 14 non-White district attorneys.

According to The AJC, some state Democratic leaders view the legislation "as retribution for Willis' ongoing probe of then-President Donald Trump's attempt to overturn his 2020 election defeat in Georgia."

State Rep. Tanya Miller, a Democrat, told The AJC, “Whether intended or not, the majority of the world” will view the bill the same way.

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The Washington Post's full report is available at this link (subscription required). The Atlanta Journal Constitution's report is here.