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Letters to the editor

I am writing in response to your article titled, “Judges face East Atlanta critics” (, Feb. 25). Your story quotes Chief Judge Doris Downs as saying, “If I give you 10 years to serve, you’d be out like that,” alluding to the fact that nonviolent criminals are often paroled after serving only a fraction of their sentences due in part to overcrowded prisons. As a point of clarification, Johnny Dennard — the nine-time convicted felon to whom you refer in your article — was a recidivist who had been properly served with a recidivist notice. As such, had he been sentenced to any prison time (our office recommended 10 years), he would have been required to serve every day of his sentence behind bars without the possibility of parole as provided for in the Official Code of Georgia (OCGA) 17-10-7 (c), which reads as follows:
“Except as otherwise provided in subsection (b) of this Code section, any person who, after having been convicted under the laws of this state for three felonies or having been convicted under the laws of any other state or of the United States of three crimes which if committed within this state would be felonies, commits a felony within this state other than a capital felony must, upon conviction for such fourth offense or for subsequent offenses, serve the maximum time provided in the sentence of the judge based upon such conviction and shall not be eligible for parole until the maximum sentence has been served.”
I hope you will consider updating your article to reflect this point of clarification.
— Paul L. Howard Jr., Fulton County district attorney

Why is Atlanta music still seeking outside affirmation (“Damn hipsters,” Vibes, Feb. 25)? This decade has been marked with validation for Atlanta music. Maybe a healthy dose of humble pie is more suiting.
Forget the gamut of self-promoted “scene” musicians in this city who already receive way more press than they deserve from hipster columnists. The metal-indie-experimental-punk-whatever bands do not speak for the identity of this city. They are generally comprised of Atlanta outsiders, relocated from the boonies, perpetrating styles already established in a more sincere form elsewhere.
Atlanta is spoken for by individuals like Andre 3000, Ludacris, Cee-Lo, and Lil Jon. These individuals have been the pioneers who have really defined Atlanta. To elaborate: Crunk is now an international trademark, OutKast injected a fresh creative dose into pop culture, Ludacris is the real mouth of the South, and Gnarls Barkley still continues to blend new styles and soul. These individuals work hard ... (and actually grew up within city limits).
The most appalling attitude from [the] article, however, is in the interview of Shannon Mulvaney. [Mulvaney] claims to have had “to go as far away as Europe to play shows” in the context of a complaint against the lack of regional support. How privileged must your life be to consider traveling to Europe anything less than extraordinary? ...
Black Lips and Mastodon have received absolutely as much credit as they deserve ... . The music is largely very generic and appeals to a limited audience. What more can you expect?
— Alex App, Atlanta

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