COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A new candidate has qualified to run for the District Attorney of the Chattahoochee Circuit. Attorney Mark Jones is a first time candidate, challenging incumbent Julia Slater.
Jones said the violence we have seen here in Columbus recently is ridiculous and what is even worse than the violence is the bonds some of the violent offenders have been getting.
With 13 years of legal experience, Mark Jones said 2020 is the year he wants to run for the seat of District Attorney for the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit.
He said he is running for a number of reasons including the desire to be a more active D.A. by creating a self-defense court, a pre-trial diversion program for felonies and even fix the backlog at the jail, particularly with serious violent felonies.
“We’ve got to be more efficient on those cases,” Jones said.
“[The recent violent crime in the area] is ridiculous. It’s getting out of hand. People are getting hurt, and I think it all comes from a disrespect for the law," he said.
When it comes to violent offenders, Jones said they should not be getting own recognizance bonds.
“I’m disgusted when I read about somebody charged with murder getting an own recognizance, an own recognizance bond means basically they just sign their name and they let them go back on the streets for bond,” Jones said.
He said bonds for alleged murderers should be high, and hard to reach.
“It’s a problem, we don’t want another Aniah Blanchard situation,” he said.
One thing Jones noted for violent offenders is he is okay with the death penalty only for the worst of the worst cases.
“Death penalty for me would be the most egregious cases," Jones said. "I think a life in prison situation is generally going to be better on a murder case and of course you stack the sentences so you make sure they don’t get out ever again.”
Watch the full, unedited interview with Jones below.