Courts

In Angola’s Oak 4 dormitory Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling douses hopes

BY: - May 18, 2021

The news spread quickly on Monday from the nation’s highest court to its largest maximum-security prison, the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. That morning, in the case Edwards v. Vannoy, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that its 2020 Ramos v. Louisiana decision — which held that the Sixth Amendment right to a unanimous jury applies […]

Bill extends statute of limitations on child sex abuse

Bill to extend statute of limitations on child sex abuse clears House unanimously

BY: - May 12, 2021

A bill that would extend the statute of limitations on civil claims brought against alleged child predators cleared a major legislative hurdle Tuesday when the Louisiana House gave it its unanimous approval.   House Bill 492, sponsored by Rep. Jason Hughes (D-New Orleans), proposes extending the prescriptive period, or statute of limitations, from 10 to 35 […]

House passes qualified immunity bill

Critical police-reform bill on qualified immunity narrowly passes House

BY: - May 11, 2021

The Louisiana House lawmakers passed a monumental police reform bill Tuesday night that would dismantle the qualified immunity protection that has long shielded police officers from lawsuits when they use unreasonable force that leads to death or serious bodily injury. House Bill 609, sponsored by Rep. Edmond Jordan (D-Baton Rouge), was narrowly approved on the […]

Republicans block 'Jim Crow jury' reform

Lawmaker pulls bill to ease parole access for juvenile lifers

BY: - May 6, 2021

A Louisiana legislator pulled his bill to ease access to parole for people who committed murder before the age of 18 after it became clear Wednesday the proposal was going to be voted down. District attorneys and family members of murder victims killed by teenagers gave emotional testimony opposing the legislation. They convinced enough members […]

Courtroom Gavel

Louisiana lawmaker wants governor, legislators to have more control over public defenders

BY: - May 6, 2021

A powerful Louisiana lawmaker is seeking to rearrange the management of the state’s troubled public defender system — a move that criminal justice advocates and a handful of local public defenders worry could result in less accountability and slash funding for the state’s most complicated public defense cases. House Speaker Pro Tempore Tanner Magee, R-Houma, […]

Courtroom Gavel

Louisiana residents convicted of felonies move closer to serving on juries

BY: - May 4, 2021

The Louisiana House voted 55-42 Tuesday to allow people convicted of felonies to serve on juries. The legislation has been sent to the Senate for consideration. Rep. Denise Marcelle, D-Baton Rouge, is sponsoring House Bill 84. If passed, people who were convicted of felonies would be able to serve on juries after they have been […]

COMMENTARY
Courtroom Gavel

It’s time for Louisiana to end juvenile life without parole | Demario Davis & Stan Van Gundy

BY: and - April 29, 2021

Thirty years ago, the United Nations issued the Convention on the Rights of the Child in which it outlined various protections that should be extended to all individuals under 18, including protection from being sentenced to life imprisonment. Yet the United States, which prides itself on guaranteeing all citizens the unalienable right to life, liberty […]

Marijuana

Will Louisiana fully legalize marijuana? 10 things to know about the debate

BY: - April 28, 2021

The Louisiana Legislature took a major step toward fully legalizing marijuana products for recreational use when — for the first time that anyone can remember — a legislative committee sent a bill to fully legalize marijuana to the House  for consideration. The House Committee on the Administration of Criminal Justice voted 7-5 Tuesday for legislation […]

Louisiana lawmakers consider letting people convicted of felonies serve on juries

BY: - April 23, 2021

The Louisiana House Committee on the Administration of Criminal Justice voted 6-4 Thursday to allow some people convicted of felonies to serve on juries. The legislation has now been forwarded to the full House for consideration. Rep. Denise Marcelle, D-Baton Rouge, is sponsoring the bill. If passed, people who were convicted of felonies would be […]

COMMENTARY

Supreme Court ruling may doom more Louisiana juveniles to permanent imprisonment | Jarvis DeBerry

BY: - April 23, 2021

Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2012 ruling that mandatory sentences of life without parole for juvenile defendants don’t jibe with the Eighth Amendment’s ban on “cruel and unusual punishment” and be imposed on the rare juvenile who is “permanently incorrigible,” Louisiana has acted as if incorrigibility isn’t rare at all. It has acted as if […]

Jeff Landry sues ULM med school over vaccine mandate

Louisiana’s AG has publicly criticized a whistleblower. Will it cost the state money?

BY: - April 22, 2021

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry is publicly criticizing the professionalism and character of a former employee who raised concerns about sexual harassment within Landry’s department — a strategy which some employment law experts said is financially risky for the state’s taxpayers. “It’s a strategic decision [to criticize a whistleblower publicly], but it is a bit […]

Former New Orleans District Attorney to lead criminal division for Attorney General

BY: - April 20, 2021

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has tapped former Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro to co-lead the criminal division in the Department of Justice at a time when the office is in some turmoil. Cannizzaro will follow  Pat Magee, a friend of Landry’s who  left the office  this year after being accused of mistreating women […]