Baxter voiced frustration that more defendants weren't willing to accept the deal and admit to what they had done. Davis-Williams and two other former administrators were given seven years in prison, 13 years probation, 2,000 hours of community service and a $25,000 fine.
“Yesterday I said to everyone, this is the time to search your soul and we could end this and the punishment wouldn’t be so severe. It was just taking responsibility, and no one is taking responsibility that I can see,” Baxter said. “I was going to give everyone one more chance, but no one took it. All I want for many of these people is to just take some responsibility, but they refuse. They refuse.”
Baxter granted the educators bond while they evaluate whether to appeal the ruling, and several indicated they will do so.
A jury of six men and six women on April 1 convicted 11 of the 12 of racketeering in the landmark cheating case. Retired special education teacher Dessa Curb was acquitted.
The guilty Atlanta educators were facing unprecedented prison sentences of five to 20 years because of the RICO charges against them. The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act was initially used by prosecutors to put away gangsters involved in organized crimes such as extortion and murder. In a novel use of the law, it’s being for educators conspiring to inflate student scores on the state’s Criterion-Referenced Competency Test to keep jobs and earn bonuses.
Get more details about the convictions at MyAJC.com