Post v. GeorgiaAnnotate this Case
Appellants Desmond Post, Rolaunda Fripp, and Joseph Brown were indicted along with Darchelle Arnold and Jarvis Butts for numerous crimes including felony murder in connection with an armed robbery in late 2009, that led to the shooting deaths of Mark Jones and Christopher Jackson. In 2010, the Governor appointed Reuben Green, who was campaigning for election to the Cobb County State Court, to fill a vacancy on the Cobb County Superior Court, and Appellants’ cases were assigned to Judge Green. Two months before the scheduled trial date, Post filed a motion for recusal on the grounds that Judge Green was employed by the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office when Post’s case was being handled by that office and that the Cobb County District Attorney, Patrick H. Head, was serving as the treasurer for “Judge Green’s election campaign.” Judge Green engaged the parties in a lengthy discussion about his possible recusal before orally denying Post’s motion. After the hearing, Fripp and Brown filed motions for recusal on the ground that Judge Green had created an appearance of impropriety by defending himself against the recusal allegations. Judge Green entered detailed orders denying Appellants’ recusal motions, and denied their requests for a certificate of immediate review. Appellants proceeded to trial in March 2012, where the jury found them guilty of all charges except malice murder, and their motions for new trial were denied in November 2014. They appealed, raising, (among other things), the issue regarding Judge Green's recusal. After review, the Supreme Court agreed with Appellants that Judge Green erred in failing to refer their recusal motions for reassignment to another judge to decide. "Moreover, based on the transcript of the final motions hearing, the accuracy of which is not disputed, we further conclude that, upon reassignment to another judge, Fripp’s and Brown’s recusal motions would have to be granted." The Court vacated the order denying Post’s recusal motion, reversed the orders denying Fripp’s and Brown’s recusal motions, vacated Appellants’ convictions, and remanded these cases for further proceedings.