Former Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Beverly Hall entered a plea deal. Both the prosecution and defense agreed on the plea deal. Prosecutors and defense lawyers chiseled out a plea deal in March. In the deal, Hall would agree to plead to a single felony charge. In her guilty plea, in exchange for probation and pay restitution.
Those negotiations broke down, because, if the plea deal was accepted, it would allow Hall to plead guilty and would not require her to accept responsibility. According to law, a plea of this nature can be permitted under a 1970, U.S. Supreme Court decision. Judge Jerry W. Baxter also rejected the plea deal. This is called an Alford plea (also referred to as Alford guilty plea and Alford doctrine). In the United States, this guilty plea can be used in a criminal case. This allows the defendant to plead guilty and does not admit the act and asserts innocence.
Hall, now 67 is also battling stage four breast cancer. In the history making scandal, Beverly Hall has been charged with engaging in a racketeering conspiracy that improperly raised students’ scores on a state standardized test. Also, other charges, theft by taking, submitting and giving false documents in 2009.
Hall to this day, denies any wrong doing and says she is innocent of the charges. The trial for Hall and 12 others are scheduled to start next month. A jury will determine the future of each defendant. Hall’s lawyers have asked the judge for a continuance for six to eight months due to the health of their client. Judge Baxter is yet to rule on that request.
Twelve educators of Atlanta Public Schools involved in the cheating scandal plead guilty. They wrote letters apologizing to students, parents, and community for their actions. Dr. Hall was the superintendent and the highest ranking school employee involved in the scandal. She fails to assume and accept responsibility for her role and actions taken by subordinates under her leadership. Children first.
‘Integrity is doing the right thing, even if nobody is watching.’