U.S. Northern District of Georgia Judge Eleanor L. Ross has denied former Clayton County sheriff Victor Hill’s request to remain free on bond while his conviction on violating six pretrial detainees’ civil rights under color of law is on appeal to the Eleventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

That means Hill is required to turn himself in at FCI Forrest City in Arkansas on May 15 as originally ordered by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

Ross wrote in her decision, dated May 5, that “the Court finds that none of the three (3) arguments Defendant identifies in his motion for bond pending appeal present substantial questions of law that might change the outcome of his conviction upon appeal. For the same reasons, Defendant fails to present any support for his request to continue his self-surrender date.”

Hill’s attorneys had argued that he had not had “fair warning” that it was illegal to strap pretrial detainees who had not shown any danger to themselves or others into restraint chairs for extended periods of time. They also had argued that federal prosecutors had not presented enough evidence to prove Hill’s use of the chairs was neither legitimate nor that he had gone overboard.

Ross also denied that issuing the jury a second Allen charge, which is an order for jurors to continue deliberations if deadlocked, was “inherently coercive.” During the trial, Ross had issued an Allen charge to the jury. Then one juror got sick and was replaced by an alternate. She issued a second Allen charge before the reconstituted jury found Hill guilty on six of seven counts.

Robin Kemp is executive editor and CEO of The Clayton Crescent, which she founded in 2020. She has worked for Gambit, CNN, The Weather Channel, Clayton News, Henry Herald, and numerous freelance outlets....

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