If Bill 602 becomes law with state Senate approval, Louisiana will join nine other states—Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Oregon, Kansas, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Mississippi, and Texas—which allow visitors to bring guns to schools or college campuses. Nine more only allow concealed guns in parking lots and locked cars.
As Louisiana prepares to institute forward-looking sentencing reforms next month, the New Orleans newspaper criticizes Attorney General Jeff Sessions for looking backward toward the failed tough-on-crime strategies of the 1990s.
To avoid court, motorists can write a check directly to the local prosecutor under an unusual system known as “DA Pre-Trial Diversion.” The use of diversion seems to be growing, raising eyebrows among public defenders who rely on traffic fines for funding.
A day after a former South Carolina cop pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights charge for shooting a man in the back, two Baton Rouge cops were cleared in another controversial fatal shooting. A federal prosecutor said of the Louisiana case, “We simply did not have sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that either officer violated the federal criminal civil rights laws.”
The state’s Justice Reinvestment Task Force made its formal proposal, which is expected to be introduced as a package of criminal justice reform legislation this spring. Louisiana has the world’s highest incarceration rate, 816 for every 100,000 residents as of 2015.
A Louisiana justice reform task force is divided over reforms that would allow parole eligibility for older, long-term inmates and those sent to prison for life as juveniles. Recommendations to Gov. John Bel Edwards are due in two weeks.
The reform efforts of the state’s Justice Reinvestment Task Force are likely to focus initially on alternatives to prison for nonviolent offenders. The concept apparently is gaining traction with Louisiana Republicans.
The state’s legislative auditor cites ways to save a total of $170 million by shifting 9,000 cases to drug courts, allowing judges to put more drug offenders on probation and in “community programming.”
A review of Louisiana homicide and death penalty cases going back to 1976 found that convicted murderers who killed black males were less likely to be executed than those who killed other victims, according to a study forthcoming in the Loyola University of New Orleans Journal of Public Interest Law. The data analyzed by the study authors, Frank Baumgartner and Tim Lyman, demonstrate what they conclude are stark disparities in the use of the death penalty, depending on the race […]
As Louisiana winds down commemorative activities for the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Executive Director Gina Womack and Statewide Juvenile Justice Director Ernest Johnson of Families and Friends of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children say they’re still monitoring—and trying to curb—the disproportionate expulsions of black children in New Orleans’ schools.