In looking at the rules in Georgia that prosecutors must follow, we see a couple rules:
RULE 3.8 SPECIAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF A PROSECUTOR
The prosecutor in a criminal case shall:
(g) except for statements that are necessary to inform the public of the nature and extent of the prosecutor's action and that serve a legitimate law enforcement purpose, refrain from making extrajudicial comments that have a substantial likelihood of heightening public condemnation of the accused.
RULE 3.6 TRIAL PUBLICITY
1. A lawyer who is participating or has participated in the investigation or litigation of a matter shall not make an extrajudicial statement that a person would reasonably believe to be disseminated by means of public communication if the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that it will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding in the matter.
Take another look at Arnt's Facebook post and then ask whether or not he has broken rules 3.8 and 3.6. Michael Nifong broke Rule 3.6 and was disbarred in North Carolina.
An outstanding attorney in Texas has expressed her learned opinion about what Arnt posted:
This is disgusting and brings dishonor upon the profession. Are prosecutors allowed under the canons of ethics to publicly call opposing counsel crazy? Are they allowed to publicly accuse them of defrauding their clients by going to trial? I suspect not.
Most importantly, it is obvious that the prosecutor was INVITING public condemnation of the accused in a back-handed manner. He was soliciting comments favorable to his post and he got them!
I have been practicing for almost 30 years and have rarely seen such blatant and public disregard for legal ethics. This is trial by Facebook!
To make matters worse, notice the people who supported the post:
Holly Nave Kittle, a forensic analyst with the GBI.
Vicki Scoggins, who has been the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit Victim Witness Director.
Jane Sadler, who has served on the board of the Walker County DFCS.
Indeed, any prosecutor who would do this, and also make inflammatory statement to the press such as telling them that the very act of Tonya Craft proclaiming her innocence is "proof" she is guilty deserves to be scrutinized by the Georgia State Bar. You have to remember that Arnt and Len Gregor have been able to get away with this illegal and bullying behavior for years, and no one in a position of authority has done anything. One hopes this can change, just as Nifong found that his lies and bullying no longer fit his job description.
(Thanks to an anonymous tipster for much of this material)
[Update] As the commenter below points out, Holly Kittle now works as a "therapist" for the Children's Advocacy Center, which is an important arm of the prosecution's team. This is from my attorney friend in Texas:
Holly is part of the prosecution team. If she was under the direct supervision of the prosecutor, here is another canon under Rule 3.8:
(e) exercise reasonable care to prevent persons who are under the direct supervision of the prosecutor from making an extrajudicial statement that the prosecutor would be prohibited from making under subsection (g) of this Rule;
The fact that she gave a thumbs up would appear on her page, driving others to look at Arnt's post. I don't know if she was directly supervised by him, however.
I need to add that whether or not she was supervised, Kittle's statement was HIGHLY inappropriate for someone who is on the official witness list for the prosecution. Again, we are seeing abuse of the law -- under color of the law, of course.
[Update #2]: An attorney from another state has sent me the links to the facebook pages of Kittle, Sadler and Scoggins. The point is that they have lots of "friends" who no doubt are given information from these women casting pronouncements of guilt on Tonya Craft. As stated before, Kittle is on the official witness list, which says that her behavior has been highly inappropriate at best and illegal at worst.
I no longer live in the Lookout Mountain Judicial District, and given that the prosecution staff in that district apparently consists of arrogant lawbreakers, I think I can say that I am glad I no longer live there. However, just because I no longer am a Lookout Mountain, Georgia, resident does not mean I don't care what happens at my old home.