Look at these horrible stiff sentences handed down for felonies in Georgia....boy this will put a stop to fraud!/sarcasm
Posted on Thu, Nov. 21, 2002
Gosha jailed for vote fraud
Former Russell County commissioner gets 90 days for ballot crimes in 2001 Phenix City election
BY JIM HOUSTON
When his name was called, former Russell County Commissioner Nathaniel Gosha rose Wednesday from his seat among spectators in Russell Circuit Court.
Moving slowly and leaning on the metal cane he carried in his left hand, the 65-year-old former Phenix City Council candidate made his way to the front of the courtroom, facing Judge George Greene.
It was sentencing day for Gosha, who was convicted of 25 felony and 12 misdemeanor voter fraud charges on Aug. 15, all in connection with the Sept. 4, 2001, Phenix City election in which Gosha was a council candidate. The convictions include 16 counts of possessing forged documents, nine counts of falsifying absentee ballots and 12 counts of disclosing the votes of others.
Assistant Attorney General Stephanie Billingslea, who led the prosecution team at trial, asked Greene to sentence Gosha to "at least a year and a day" behind bars for his felony misconduct.
Defense attorney Connie Jo Cooper urged Greene to have mercy on Gosha, citing his "previous public service" and his deteriorating physical condition.
Greene ordered Gosha to spend 90 days in jail, followed by three years on probation for the forged documents charges, and a concurrent 90-day jail term with 18 months' probation for the ballot falsification counts. Although he imposed no fine in the forged documents case, the judge ordered the mandatory minimum fine of $500 for each of the nine false ballot convictions, plus a charge of $5 for each day he is behind bars.
Greene also fined Gosha $100 for each of the 12 vote disclosure misdemeanors, but ordered the 90-day jail sentence for each of those charges to be served concurrently with the other terms.
Gosha made no comment and limped to a seat among other convicted defendants who were bound for the Russell County Jail.
Co-defendant Lizzie Mae Perry, 50, was sentenced on Oct. 15 to 30 days in jail and 18 months on probation after pleading guilty to two felony counts of falsifying absentee ballots and two misdemeanor charges of disclosing votes. She testified against Gosha in his Circuit Court trial.
At the trial, Mayor Sonny Coulter and council candidate Gerald Brooks testified that Gosha called them, offering to arrange for them to buy absentee votes in their respective races. Both reported the contact to District Attorney Ken Davis, and Brooks participated in a sting in which Perry was videotaped presenting absentee ballots for his perusal, showing that each for which he was to pay included a vote for him.
Perry turned those same ballots over to Gosha that evening and was taped talking with Gosha about the sale of those votes.
Yeah, that conviction is bound to prevent future voter fraud. /sarcasm.