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John A. Steakely

Attorney John Steakley is a 1996 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law. He began his career as the Special Prosecutor for Drug Crimes for a multi-county, multi-agency drug task force in Tennessee, where he represented the State of Tennessee in thousands of felony and misdemeanor cases in a 5-county judicial district.

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Bail Set For Cobb Man Charged With Domestic Terrorism

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WSTV reports that bail has been set for Bradley Clark, who is in trouble because

police found bizarre social media postings where Clark devoted himself to advocating the total destruction of the human race, with posts like, "We all deserve to die," and "People should just die."

I understand why police would be concerned, but I'm not sure from what the article contains that any crime has been committed.  It isn't a crime to have a bad attitude and to express yourself.   It's a crime to specifically threaten an identifiable person or identifiable group of people with the purpose of terrorizing them, but just saying you hate the world and everyone in it isn't a crime.  If that's a crime, there are lots of teenagers who are going to get arrested. 

Also, there's no crime called "Domestic Terrorism" in Georgia.  The closest thing is "Terroristic Threats and Acts". 

Section 16-11-37 of the Georgia Code reads: 

§ 16-11-37. Terroristic threats and acts; penalties 

(a) A person commits the offense of a terroristic threat when he or she threatens to commit any crime of violence, to release any hazardous substance, as such term is defined in Code Section 12-8-92, or to burn or damage property with the purpose of terrorizing another or of causing the evacuation of a building, place of assembly, or facility of public transportation or otherwise causing serious public inconvenience or in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror or inconvenience. No person shall be convicted under this subsection on the uncorroborated testimony of the party to whom the threat is communicated.

(b) A person commits the offense of a terroristic act when:

(1) He or she uses a burning or flaming cross or other burning or flaming symbol or flambeau with the intent to terrorize another or another's household;

(2) While not in the commission of a lawful act, he or she shoots at or throws an object at a conveyance which is being operated or which is occupied by pa

ssengers; or

(3) He or she releases any hazardous substance or any simulated hazardous substance under the guise of a hazardous substance for the purpose of terrorizing another or of causing the evacuation of a building, place of assembly, or facility of public transportation or otherwise causing serious public inconvenience or in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror or inconvenience.

(c) A person convicted of the offense of a terroristic threat shall be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000.00 or by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years, or both. A person convicted of the offense of a terroristic act shall be punished by a fine of not more than $5,000.00 or by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years, or both; provided, however, that if any person suffers a serious physical injury as a direct result of an act giving rise to a conviction under this Code section, the person so convicted shall be punished by a fine of not more than $250,000.00 or imprisonment for not less than five nor more than 40 years, or both.

(d) A person who commits or attempts to commit a terroristic threat or act with the intent to retaliate against any person for:

(1) Attending a judicial or administrative proceeding as a witness, attorney, judge, clerk of court, deputy clerk of court, court reporter, probation officer, or party or producing any record, document, or other object in a judicial or official proceeding; or

(2) Providing to a law enforcement officer, adult or juvenile probation officer, prosecuting attorney, or judge any information relating to the commission or possible commission of an offense under the laws of this state or of the United States or a violation of conditions of bail, pretrial release, probation, or parole

shall be guilty of the offense of a terroristic threat or act and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished, for a terroristic threat, by imprisonment for not less than five nor more than ten years or by a fine of not less than $50,000.00, or both, and, for a terroristic act, by imprisonment for not less than five nor more than 20 years or by a fine of not less than $100,000.00, or both.

 

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Attorney John Steakley is a 1996 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law. He began his career as the Special Prosecutor for Drug Crimes for a multi-county, multi-agency drug task force in Tennessee, where he represented the State of Tennessee in thousands of felony and misdemeanor cases in a 5-county judicial district.


He was selected by the National College of District Attorneys to attend advanced legal seminars in Santa Fe, New Orleans, San Francisco, and Houston. In 2000, he was appointed to the position of Special Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee by Attorney General Janet Reno, and reappointed again the following year.


In 2001, he accepted an offer from the Gwinnett County District Attorneys Office and spent the next four years representing the State of Georgia in several hundred serious felony cases.   He continues to handle the most serious of cases, often winning outright dismissals of charges, or significant reductions for his clients.  For more about the type of cases Mr. Steakley has handled, click here:  Selected Criminal Cases


SteakleyCh5336x280In 2006 he was a founding partner of Crosby, Haldi & Steakley, LLC, located in Decatur.  Now in private practice since 2007 as John A. Steakley, P.C., headquartered in Marietta, he represents individuals in a wide variety of matters, using his experience to provide his clients with quality legal representation. He is licensed to practice law in both Tennessee and Georgia, but focuses almost solely on Georgia.  


In 2012, the Georgia Supreme Court certified him as a Mentor for theTransition Into Law Practice Program, serving as a role model and mentoring young attorneys just entering into the practice of law.  This came on the heels of years of coaching the Emory University Law School's Mock Trial Team in how to be effective and successful courtroom litigators.


In addition to advocating for his clients in the courtroom, Mr. Steakley is a strong proponent of individual liberties.  He co-authored a scholarly work on whether the United States Constitution afforded citizens the right to record their interactions with police even in private places.  This article has garnered attention and raised awareness about this timely legal-technology issue, and was named one of the "Must Read Articles of 2012" by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. 


He is a member of the Tennessee Bar Association, the Tennessee Supreme Court, the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals, the Tennessee Court of Civil Appeals, the State Bar of Georgia, the Georgia Supreme Court, the Georgia Court of Appeals, Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Gwinnett County Bar Association, and Cobb County Bar Association.


When not practicing law, Mr. Steakley is an instrument-rated private pilot who enjoys flying around the Southeast.  He has been a pilot since 1999.

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