“Tired and a little bit relieved” is how Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis described her mood Wednesday morning after working around the clock to indict homicide suspects, sexual offenders, and others charged with violent crimes who were about to be released on bond.
Willis and her team of stretched thin attorneys and investigators said they put personal lives on hold and worked nights and weekends to indict 193 homicide suspects before a new 90-day rule came into effect today that would have granted them bond.
“Not one individual charged with the crime of homicide will get released today,” Willis said during a press conference, noting they had also managed to indict those charged with sexual offenses and the most violent crimes behind bars.
But Willis and her team are back on the clock as another 40 or 50 homicide suspects behind bars remain to be indicted.
“By law, a 90-day rule went into effect where defendants are guaranteed bond no matter their charge or criminal history,” Willis said. “We avoided one of the most severe crises this county has ever faced, but the crisis is not over. More deadlines are coming.”
Willis said she inherited a backlog of 11,000 un-indicted cases due to the COVID-19 pandemic and mismanagement from former district attorneys.
The DA’s office recently received a boost from the Fulton County Board of Commissioners who allotted $5 million for Willis to hire on additional 55 team members to clear the backlog.
Willis said despite the herculean efforts by her staff, there are still nearly 11,000 criminals awaiting indictment as the 90-day clock ticks on.