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This Day in Georgia History

March 02, 1874

Legislation Allowing Convict Leasing for Fines

Gov. James M. Smith approved an act allowing anyone convicted of a crime and sentenced to a fine, but who did not have the resources to pay the fine, to hire themselves out to any person willing to pay the fine. Both the convict and person paying the convict’s fine had to sign an agreement in the presence of a judge stating the kind of work the convict would have to do, the place where it would be done, and the length of time or nature of the work project that would fulfill the contract – with the conditions of the contract approved by the judge.