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A New Twist: Judge Reduces Sentences for Some Atlanta Educators

A New Twist: Judge Reduces Sentences for Some Atlanta Educators

Judge Jerry Baxter reduced the sentences of three Atlanta educators convicted of cheating and racketeering from seven years in prison to three after he said the previous sentence made him 'uncomfortable,' according to CNN.

In a moment of total honesty, Baxter claimed he found himself questioning his decision. "'When a judge goes home and he keeps thinking over and over that something's wrong, something is usually wrong,'" he said, according to the article.

Tamara Cotman, Sharon Davis-Williams, and Michael Pitts were the educators given the reduced sentences. In addition, they were "ordered Thursday to serve seven years on probation, pay $10,000 fines and work 2,000 hours in community service."

These sentences are drastically reduced from the original of seven years in prison, 13 years on probation, and $25,000 in fines. The three educators are supposedly happy with the judge's new decision while still maintaining innocence and insisting they are neither cheaters or racketeers.

According to CNN, "[a]ll defendants sentenced to prison have appealed and are out on bond. The lower prison sentences given to other defendants -- ranging from one to two years -- have not been reduced."

Judge Baxter originally handed out the heavy sentences because he was frustrated that the convicted educators did not admit responsibility for their actions by not waiving their right to appeal.

He referred to the cheating scandal as a "mess" at the hearing and admitted he was looking forward to being done with it.

Read the full story here and comment below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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