News & Politics

Georgia Judge Resigns After Controversy Following Jail Sentence Over Traffic Ticket

He sentenced a woman to jail on her 20th wedding anniversary.

Former Decatur Judge Lindsay Jones (left, via Dekalb Co.) and Sharon Hurston Tatum (right, via screengrab/WSBTV).

A municipal judge in Decatur, Georgia has resigned after publication of a controversial jail sentence he gave a woman who he claimed lied about a traffic ticket.

As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports, Judge Lindsay Jones, who was a municipal court judge in the Atlanta suburb, sentenced Shari Hurston Tatum to two days in jail on November 8 after he claimed she was guilty of perjury for lying about a traffic ticket.

Tatum, who “waived her right to an attorney and jury trial, but demanded a bench hearing,” was sentenced to jail time during her 20th wedding anniversary because Jones said video of her traffic violation that resulted in her ticket proved she was lying.

When the Journal-Constitution first reported on the story last Thursday, Judge Jones insisted that he didn’t resign before Decatur Chief Municipal Judge Rhathelia Stroud, but on Monday Decatur City Manager Peggy Merriss confirmed that he had resigned. Chief Judge Stroud also confirmed that Jones “tendered his verbal resignation” shortly after the report was published.

Noor Al-Sibai is a writer and editor for Raw Story, whose work has appeared in Bustle, Everyday Feminism, and Rewire.