The death of Johnny Green is a tragedy.
Green was found floating in Jackson Lake in November, four days after he went missing while on a Sunday night fishing trip with a friend. Coroner Tommy Davis confirmed Thursday that Green died from a methamphetamine overdose and ethanol toxicity. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation determined the cause of death and ruled it an accident.
The involvement of the medical examiner’s office at the GBI doesn’t mean this case is settled — not by a long shot. Former Covington police investigator Ryan Ralston has begun asking questions on behalf of the family, and a letter written in the voice of the late Green asks questions of Sheriff Ezell Brown and investigators.
It’s understandable that family members would want answers, including prosecution of whomever might have provided drugs to Green.
The death was unexpected, and a tragedy, and surely they want someone to pay.
But we trust the Newton County Sheriff’s Office will be giving this a full investigation, and indeed already has been looking into it. We hope anyone with information will come forward with clues that can give the family closure.
Adoption bill should advance
Broken families are a true tragedy, and a bill in the Georgia General Assembly would make it easier to complete families in our state.
There has been controversy over how to make adoption easier in Georgia, even here at home. Last week, covnews.com published guest columns by Rep. Dave Belton, R-Buckhead, and Sen. Tonya Anderson, D-Lithonia, offered passionate arguments for and against the bill as originally written.
Thankfully there has been progress. The state House voted 168-0 on Thursday for the compromise bill sponsored by Rep. Bart Reeves, R-Marietta — and, in a show of the broad nature of support, cosponsored by former state Rep. Stacey Evans, a top contender for the Democratic nomination for governor.
But the bill is in trouble in the Senate, where it didn’t get a vote Thursday according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Some senators are afraid the bill’s lack of a cap on reimbursement for a birth mother’s basic living expenses will lead to the de facto purchase of babies.
Certainly no one wants that, so we hope this bill can go back to the drawing board, and quickly since the session will adjourn March 29.
As the AJC put it, Georgia’s adoption process is so cumbersome that some parents are forced to go to other states to adopt. That’s a burden on adults and on children here who are deprived of a loving family.
The General Assembly should work to figure this out and give Georgia families an election-year win.
Our Thoughts is the view of The Covington News’ editorial board, which includes Editor and Publisher David Clemons and Managing Editor Jackie Gutknecht.