Supreme Court of Georgia Decisions

Nine justices serve on the Georgia Supreme Court, which expanded from seven justices in 2017. Under the Georgia Constitution, the Court has exclusive jurisdiction over appeals involving issues of constitutional law or cases contesting elections. It has general jurisdiction over appeals in cases certified for its review, as well as cases involving divorce or alimony, title to real estate, wills or equity, the death penalty, and writs of habeas corpus or certiorari. More broadly, if the Court finds that a case before a Georgia Court of Appeals involves a matter of great public importance, it may assert jurisdiction over that case.

A candidate for a seat on the Court needs only to be a resident of Georgia who has been licensed to practice law in the state for at least the last seven years. Each new justice is selected through a non-partisan election, which means that the candidates are listed on the ballot without their party affiliation. Once they are elected, a justice serves a six-year term. If a seat becomes vacant before the end of a term, the Governor of Georgia will appoint an interim replacement by using the assisted appointment method. This means that the Georgia Judicial Nominating Commission compiles a list of candidates, and the Governor likely will select the interim justice from that list, although this is not technically required. The Governor appoints the 18 members of the Commission. Their list generally will consist of at least five candidates. The justices elect the Chief Justice of the Georgia Supreme Court from among their members, and the position rotates among them.

A justice may face removal, retirement, or other forms of discipline if the Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission determines that discipline is appropriate. However, the Georgia Supreme Court makes the final decision on removal or retirement. A justice also may be removed if they are impeached by the Georgia House of Representatives and convicted by the Georgia State Senate in a two-thirds vote.

Browse Opinions From the Supreme Court of Georgia

Recent Decisions From the Supreme Court of Georgia
Eaker v. Georgia  
Date: November 29, 2022
Docket Number: S22A0875

Justia Opinion Summary: Darrell Eaker was convicted by jury of malice murder and other crimes in connection with the 2016 shooting death of Audra Eaker. On appeal, he argued: (1) he received constitutionally ineffective assistance of counsel;…

Young v. Georgia  
Date: November 29, 2022
Docket Number: S22A0969

Justia Opinion Summary: Tia Young was convicted by jury for the 2017 shooting death of her husband George. On appeal, Young contended: (1) the evidence was insufficient to sustain her convictions as a matter of constitutional due process; (2)…

Carter v. Georgia  
Date: November 29, 2022
Docket Number: S22A1068

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Jared Carter was convicted of malice murder and possession of a knife during the commission of a felony in connection with the death of his grandmother, 81-year-old Valeria Mann. On appeal, Appellant alleged…

Esposito v. Georgia  
Date: November 29, 2022
Docket Number: S23A0104

Justia Opinion Summary: The Georgia Supreme Court granted review in this case to establish precedent on the issue of whether a trial court could refuse to follow appellate court precedent based solely on the trial court's disagreement with that…

Roberts v. Georgia  
Date: November 2, 2022
Docket Number: S22A0420

Justia Opinion Summary: Melvin Roberts was convicted of malice murder and other crimes in connection with the 2016 shooting death of Jabari Pettway. On appeal, Roberts argued the trial court erred in admitting evidence of an armed robbery he…

Jones v. Georgia  
Date: November 2, 2022
Docket Number: S22A0425

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Deon Jones challenged his convictions for felony murder and influencing a witness in connection with the 2004 shooting death of Scott Corwin. He contended that the statute of limitation barred his prosecution…

Winslow v. Georgia  
Date: November 2, 2022
Docket Number: S22A0498

Justia Opinion Summary: William Winslow was convicted on four counts of sexual exploitation of children in connection with his possession of two videos depicting children engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The videos were found on his laptop…

Ammons v. Georgia  
Date: November 2, 2022
Docket Number: S22A0542

Justia Opinion Summary: Mia Ammons was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. She largely refused to cooperate when the state trooper who pulled her over sought to perform a preliminary breath test and various field sobriety…

McElrath v. Georgia  
Date: November 2, 2022
Docket Number: S22A0605

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2017, a jury found Damien McElrath guilty but mentally ill as to felony murder but not guilty by reason of insanity as to malice murder following a single, continuous encounter between McElrath and his mother, Diane…

DOUGHERTY v. THE STATE
Date: November 2, 2022
Docket Number: S22A0643
Drennon v. Georgia  
Date: October 25, 2022
Docket Number: S22A0511

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Carlos Drennon appealed his convictions for malice murder and participation in criminal street gang activity stemming from the 2007 shooting death of Randy Griffin. Drennon contended, among other things: (1)…

Reese v. Georgia  
Date: October 25, 2022
Docket Number: S22A0521

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellant Jacarey Reese challenged his conviction for felony murder in connection with the 2018 shooting death of Stacy Devero. Appellant’s first trial ended with a hung jury. At his second trial, the defense argued both…

Simmons v. Georgia  
Date: October 25, 2022
Docket Number: S22A0620

Justia Opinion Summary: Troy Simmons was convicted by jury of felony murder and other crimes arising out of the 2013 shooting death of Wendell Lee and the aggravated assault of April Tongol. On appeal, Simmons argued : (1) the evidence was…

Clark v. Georgia  
Date: October 25, 2022
Docket Number: S22A0630

Justia Opinion Summary: Anthony Clark was convicted by jury of felony murder and related crimes in connection with the 2019 death of Stasha Baggett. On appeal, Clark argued that, during his trial, a juror improperly communicated with a member…

Georgia v. Powell  
Date: October 25, 2022
Docket Number: S22A0648

Justia Opinion Summary: In early 2019, police officers responded to a shooting where they discovered 15-year-old appellee Paris Powell standing beside the decedent, Larry “Tre” Bryant. Appellee was interviewed by Detective John Gleason on March…

The opinions published on Justia State Caselaw are sourced from individual state court sites. These court opinions may not be the official published versions, and you should check your local court rules before citing to them. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site, or the information linked to on the state site.