Criminal Justice

Chauvin trial Day 2 takeaways: “I believe I witnessed a murder.”

BY: - March 31, 2021

The trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, charged with murder and manslaughter in the May 25 death of George Floyd, continued Tuesday, with testimony from six witnesses.  Here are six takeaways from the trial Tuesday:  Vocal witness: “I wasn’t being heard”  Donald Williams II, a mixed martial arts fighter and the most vocal […]

Chauvin trial begins with opening statements focused on cause of death, police training

BY: - March 29, 2021

Attorneys in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin laid out their case on Monday before 14 jurors who will decide if Chauvin is guilty of murder or manslaughter in the death of George Floyd on May 25. The opening statements from the prosecution and defense indicate the trial will hinge on […]

Courtroom gavel

Louisiana pays $52k to woman who says former New Orleans judge groped her

BY: - March 26, 2021

An executive assistant in the Orleans Criminal District Court said she was sitting at her desk talking to the state office that handles employee health care benefits over the phone, when she felt someone else’s finger creep up her side and start touching the middle of her chest. She jumped, looked up and saw then-Judge […]

Louisiana Capitol Building

Louisiana public defenders expect to need at least $4 million more in funding

BY: - March 23, 2021

The chronically-underfunded Louisiana public defenders will need at least $3.9 million more in funding than the $43 million Gov. John Bel Edwards has recommended giving them in the state’s next budget cycle, state public defender Remy Starns said Tuesday. The problem, once again, is connected to the way Louisiana chooses to pay for its public […]

Trump-era ‘wealth test’ for immigrants dies in 4th Circuit

BY: - March 18, 2021

A legal dispute over the so-called “wealth test” for immigrants died in the United States 4th Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday after the court denied a motion by Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and other Republican state AGs that would have kept alive an appeal of a lower court ruling that blocked the policy. […]

Courtroom gavel

A return to normalcy may also mean a return to jury duty

BY: - March 17, 2021

The Louisiana Supreme Court has lifted a COVID-19-related moratorium on jury trials and is granting judges across the state permission to hold in-person trials in April. Louisianians called to report for jury duty should expect to find a court system committed to keeping them safe, Chief Justice John Weimer said in a March 12 press […]

Jeff Landry sues ULM med school over vaccine mandate

AG Jeff Landry gets dubious ‘Black Hole Award’ for ‘outright contempt’ of government transparency

BY: - March 15, 2021

The Society of Professional Journalists is giving its annual “Black Hole Award” to Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry for his attempt to block a public records request by filing a lawsuit against the reporter who made the request, according to a SPJ press release Monday. The journalism organization gives that dubious distinction to government institutions or […]

Louisiana State Police second-in-command placed on leave for ‘sanitizing’ cell phone

Trooper who struck Black man 18 times with flashlight resigns three months after arrest

BY: - March 12, 2021

A Louisiana State Police trooper charged in multiple police brutality incidents resigned from his job with the agency on Wednesday, three months after his arrest for striking a Black man 18 times with a reinforced tactical flashlight and then, according to the arrest warrant, covering it up by falsifying reports. Jacob Brown who was previously […]

Families encouraged as some visitation resumes at Louisiana prisons, but hope for more

BY: - March 12, 2021

When Elayn Hunt Correctional Center opens to visitors for the first time in a year Monday, Wendy Matherne plans to be among the first in line. She has an appointment to visit her son Jonathan West, whom she hasn’t seen in a year. “I told my son that I don’t care what I have to […]

Angola dormitory

Louisiana prisons will allow family visits for the first time in a year

BY: - March 11, 2021

Louisiana will start to allow visits from inmates’ families and loved ones at state prisons again Saturday, though attorneys and volunteers will still be prohibited from coming to the correctional facilities, according to the Department of Corrections. Inmates haven’t been able to see their families in person in at least 12 months. The prisons shut […]

U.S. Senate confirms Merrick Garland as attorney general

BY: - March 10, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Senate Wednesday confirmed Merrick Garland to serve as U.S. attorney general in a 70-30 vote.  Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced his nomination in a 15-7 vote. Garland served as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. As attorney general, he’ll lead the Justice Department […]

Jeff Landry sues ULM med school over vaccine mandate

AG Jeff Landry loses public records lawsuit against Advocate reporter

BY: and - March 4, 2021

Attorney General Jeff Landry lost his fight Thursday to withhold a public record from Andrea Gallo, a reporter at the Advocate | Times-Picayune, who was seeking details about sexual harassment allegations at the Louisiana Department of Justice. Judge Timothy Kelley of the 19th Judicial District in Baton Rouge said he would release a document detailing […]