The judge overseeing the Atlanta Public Schools test cheating case today delayed the trial until August.
After hearing testimony from former Superintendent Beverly Hall’s oncologist, who said that requiring Hall to go to trial now could put her life at risk, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter made the decision to set back the case. An oncologist hired by the state, however, said the best time for Hall to stand trial was now.
“If we are ever going to try her, we should do it tomorrow,” the doctor said, noting that Hall could be dead in months.
Hall’s oncologist described Hall as a “terminally ill patient” and said Hall would be unable to stand trial on a greatly reduced schedule, even on a cot attended by a nurse.
Former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young and civil rights icon Joseph E. Lowery both attended the hearing, and Young rose to speak from the audience during the proceeding. He told Judge Baxter it would be “merciful” to drop the prosecution of Hall. “Let God judge her,” he said. “Justice has to have soem mercy to it for it to be relevant.”
Baxter addressed Young, saying he had been watching ruined people in the APS case stand before him and plead guilty.
“I think it should proceed before a jury of their peers,” Baxter said. “The question is now when.”
By Bill Rankin
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution