Top Texas Republicans push for more armed teachers, police after Uvalde shooting
In the hours after a gunman killed more than 20 people at a South Texas elementary school Tuesday, the state’s top Republicans sought to immediately squelch the possibility of gun control measures in the wake of yet another mass shooting. As the death toll mounted from the shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde and President […]
Senate wants final say on governor’s picks for State Police, Civil Service commissions
Louisiana lawmakers advanced two proposed constitutional amendments Wednesday that would give the Senate more power over gubernatorial appointments to the State Police Commission and Civil Service Commission. Senate Bill 75 and Senate Bill 160, both sponsored by Sen. Cleo Fields, D-Baton Rouge, would amend the Louisiana Constitution to require Senate confirmation of anyone the governor appoints […]
Lawmakers loosen limitations on police mug shots proposal
A Louisiana Senate committee has loosened proposed restrictions to limit the public release of mug shots of police suspects before they are convicted. Changes made Wednesday would allow photos of violent criminal suspects to be issued to the news media, the chief opponent of the legislation. The original version of House Bill 729 would have only […]
Adoption deception bill sails through Senate committee
A Louisiana Senate committee advanced a House bill Tuesday that would make it illegal to deceive parents seeking to adopt a child. Opponents who previously spoke against the bill did not show up to offer any counter arguments. House Bill 568, sponsored by Rep. Rick Edmonds, R-Baton Rouge, advanced unopposed from the Senate Judiciary C Committee […]
Lawmakers, grieving parents differ on how tough to get on fentanyl
There’s broad agreement that Louisiana’s fentanyl crisis has reached acute levels, with overdose deaths attributed to manmade opioids up 119% according to state health officials. But consensus on an approach to curb these numbers and discourage abuse of the drug remains elusive, even as state lawmakers advance a proposed law to make penalties harsher. Sen. […]
Their prison sentences are unconstitutional – but they’re still in prison
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that non-unanimous jury verdicts in criminal trials were unconstitutional, but it didn't make the decision retroactive. That left it up to Louisiana and Oregon to decide if it would apply the ruling to people incarcerated by split juries.
Louisiana lawmakers take a step back on police accountability
Louisiana lawmakers have been at the forefront recently when it comes to seeking accountability from police. A special House investigative committee continues to peel back shrouds of an apparent coverup in the death of Ronald Greene when he was in State Police custody, and a Senate oversight panel is moving toward fashioning policy changes to […]
Thieves hit on a new fraud: Synthetic identity theft
They combined real Social Security numbers with mismatched or phony names to create new identities, according to investigators.
Louisiana House votes to limit use of solitary confinement on incarcerated youth
The Louisiana House of Representatives voted 86-7 Thursday to place legal limits on the use of solitary confinement in state centers for incarcerated youth. It follows an explosive investigation revealing that underage people in state custody were held in isolation without access to education or rehabilitative services for weeks during the COVID-19 pandemic. House Bill […]
After violent attacks, Louisiana considers reversing juvenile justice approach focused on therapy
Michele Piazza’s face swelled up with bruises. Her leg was broken in more than one place. She was beaten so severely that a year after the attack on her, she continues to have physical and mental health challenges. Piazza has worked in prisons and secure care facilities for 18 years. She never got so much […]
Louisiana’s formerly incarcerated struggle to secure housing
Advocates for the formerly incarcerated consider the denial of housing outright discrimination that should be banned by law. Their hopes are that cultural pressure leads to the changes they seek, much in the way the civil rights movement cracked through generations of Jim Crow policy.
Louisiana House Speaker gives lawmakers who voted with him plum committee assignments
House Speaker Clay Schexnayder, R-Gonzales, has given two political independents desirable committee assignments after they sided with him in a March standoff with Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards over a veto of Louisiana’s congressional map. Schexnayder appointed Rep. Joe Marino of Gretna chairman of the House Committee on the Administration of Criminal Justice last week. […]