The only time defendants in Georgia can be sentenced to life without parole is when prosecutors seek the death penalty. The Chairman of the Georgia Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to propose a bill that would allow prosecutors to seek a sentence of life with any chance of parole without having to go through the time and expense of seeking the ultimate punishment. Another proposed bill would allow a death penalty when only nine jurors are in agreement.
Criminal Defense attorneys don’t like the prospect of prosecutors having the option of asking for life without parole without having to demand the death penalty. Defense attorneys worry that prosecutors could use the new sentence to pressure defendants to take a plea in order to avoid the chance of being put to death.