Appeals Court Judge Stephen Goss Has Died

Sad news out of Albany this morning, as reported by WABL news:

Albany police were dispatched to the area around 8:11 a.m. where they found Goss, 60, in a wooded area behind the residence dead from a gunshot wound, according to police.

Judge Goss was appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal to serve as a judge on the Court of Appeals of Georgia on August 1, 2018.

Foul play is not suspected at this time, according to police.

The Court of Appeals has posted the following on their website:

Atlanta, August 24, 2019 – It is with great sadness that the Court of Appeals announces the passing of Judge Stephen S. Goss.

“All of us at the Court of Appeals are deeply saddened by the sudden death of our friend and colleague, Judge Steve Goss,” said Chief Judge Christopher J. McFadden. “He was a soft spoken, unassuming man. The more one got to know him, the more one grew to like and respect him. He was a judge to whom other judges turned for guidance, a nationally recognized expert on accountability courts. On a personal level, I had looked forward to a long and deepening friendship.”

Judge Goss was appointed by Governor Nathan Deal to serve on the Court of Appeals a year ago, and before that he sat as a superior court judge in the Dougherty Judicial Circuit for 19 years. He was a nationally known expert in accountability courts, having founded the first felony mental health court in Georgia and one of the first in the country.

A long-time friend, Judge Amanda Mercier who served with Judge Goss on the Superior Court and the Court of Appeals said, “He was someone I considered a mentor for many years. He exemplified everything an outstanding judge should be. But more importantly, he was one of the kindest, most  thoughtful people I know. He quietly gave so much, and asked for nothing in return.  He will be missed.”

Judge Goss is survived by his beloved wife Dee Goss and their three children Collins, Clark, and Clint. The Court of Appeals expresses its deepest condolences to Judge Goss’ family.

Speaker David Ralston passed along the following regarding Judge Goss:

“Judge Goss exemplified the highest standards of integrity and character in a distinguished career of service. He showed us all that civility and kindness still count in public service. Above all, Steve was a friend. 

   “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and many friends.”

Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold D. Melton issued a statement on the Court’s website:

“Judge Goss was a man who brought so much dignity and compassion to the delivery of justice all across this great state. He was a national figure, known for his work on mental health and substance abuse treatment programs. His legacy is as great as our sense of loss. Our Court and this state’s judiciary express our profound condolences to the Goss family.”