Beverly Hall, former APS superintendent, turned herself in today to be booked on an indictment charging her with violating Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization statute known as RICO. Why RICO? A complex law designed to dismantle mob bosses. When we think of racketeering, we think of the Gambino family, money laundering, drugs and prostitution. How does a school superintendent slip into criminal behavior of this magnitude?
In order to win a conviction, the prosecution has its work cut out. The first thing it must show is that Hall engaged in a criminal enterprise, a pattern of criminal behavior. There is no requirement to prove Hall committed the crime directly, but the prosecution must show that Hall was directly operating or managing a criminal enterprise.
The prosecution must also show that Hall knowingly and intentionally set out to engage in cheating and fraud. How will the prosecution prevail if Hall simply says, she didn’t know what was going on?
And lastly, all that must be proven must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. With thirty five defendants pointing a finger at each other, a jury may have a difficult time latching on to any one story to believe. Therein lies – reasonable doubt.