Monday, March 14, 2005


Atlanta Courthouse Murders - Questions of Courthouse Security

Here is an updated list of questions that need to be answered by
authorities related to the murders. I am separating them into two
categories for clarity - the courthouse security and the search
conducted by police. Please continue to send me suggestions for
additions to this list.

1. Why wasn't security beefed up at the courthouse after it was requested by Judge Barnes?

2. Why wasn't an investigation immediately launched into how he managed to fashion the weapons he had in his shoes and procedures reexamined in light thereof?

3. How often are prisoners in the courthouse found with weapons and other contraband? Do these incidents ever get reviewed?

4. It has been implied, but not proven, that the courtroom itself was to have additional security for the trial, why did no one think it was necessary in hallways where he could grab anyone passing by?

5. Why were defendants routinely allowed to be escorted through the hallways uncuffed? Couldn't they have had the cuffs removed just before the jury entered the courtroom?

6. Why wasn't there a procedure in place to lock down the courthouse once shots were heard?

7. Why didn't the personnel who were supposed to be monitoring the video feeds from the various cameras in the courthouse notice an altercation in the holding area that was allegedly 3 minutues in duration?

8. Are any procedures in place that are drilled regularly like tornado drills and fire drills to practice hostage situations and shootings inside the courthouse? And if not, why not?

9. Why were memos that warned the security ratio of defendants to deputies ignored?

10. Was it acceptable under current protocols to allow only one deputy to escort a defendant from the new courthouse holding area to the old courthouse? And if so, why?

11. Are the protocols written in such a way that they allow a defendant with the size and strength of a football player to be escorted by one middle-aged female deputy? Did political correctness play a role in the protocols instead of common sense?

12. Is it true, as Deputy Sgt Rambo reported, that there are no physical fitness standards in place for the Sheriff's department? Why not?

13. Is it true that current policy allows a female deputy allowed to observe the clothing change of a male defendant? What about the reverse?

14. When the new sheriff assumed his duties, did he review the procedures that were in place at the jail and courthouse?

15. Did the sheriff make any changes to procedures in the jail or courthouse since he was hired? What were they?

16. Did the new sheriff have a channel for officers to express any concerns they had in regards to security or for any changes they might feel could improve the security to be expressed and acted upon?

17. Will the personnel that were in charge of video surveillance inside the courthouse be suspended, pending review?

18. Why are the lockboxes that deputies use for gun storage in plain site of defendants, who can observe the procedure?

Please add additional comments and questions that you would like to have answered by the authorities.

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