Former Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Bernette Johnson’s fiery dissents on mass incarceration and sentencing in America’s most carceral state garnered international attention. But the rise of the first Black woman on the court was characterized by one battle after another with the Deep South’s white power structure.
Elon Green Mar 02, 2021
More than 20 women accused Harry Morel, a longtime district attorney in Louisiana, of sexual misconduct. But Morel pleaded guilty to just a single obstruction of justice count while Mike Zummer, the FBI agent who investigated him, was fired. Now, Zummer is speaking about what he says is a grave injustice—at the hands of the Justice Department.
Jerry Iannelli Dec 15, 2020
Tenants rights groups in Brooklyn, Kansas City, New Orleans, and elsewhere are using physical blockades and direct action to keep people in their homes.
Bryce Covert Oct 20, 2020
Though domestic violence is often cited as a reason to maintain the carceral status quo, advocates say there are more humane—and effective—alternatives.
Jessica Pishko Jul 28, 2020
To decarcerate New Orleans, we must defund the police department.
In the 1990s, Davis was a policing superstar, hailed as the best crime solver the Crescent City had ever seen. But a dispute over a paid detail at a festival turned into a major federal case against her, brought by a prosecutor involved whose conduct in other cases was called ‘grotesque.’
Ethan Brown Jul 01, 2020
Judge Paul Bonin improperly required people who appeared in his courtroom to purchase ankle monitors from a private company run by one of his former law partners, a lawsuit says.
Ko Bragg Jun 30, 2020
Garbage collectors in the city are striking for $15 an hour, hazard pay, and PPE.
Elizabeth Weill-Greenberg May 27, 2020
The state has recommended the release of 10 women at a coronavirus-ravaged prison—but Governor John Bel Edwards still hasn’t signed the paperwork.
Jerry Iannelli May 20, 2020
Powerful interests exploited Katrina to enrich themselves and transform the city. As a reporter who covered the fallout explains, our government’s lax oversight means the same could happen now, leaving those who most need help behind.
Gary Rivlin Apr 07, 2020
A Department of Corrections official knew the extrajudicial practice was going on but little has been done to correct it.
Victoria Law Feb 18, 2020
Jails in New Orleans and Cleveland have had significant population drops, yet conditions of confinement remain poor. Communities harmed by these jails should experiment with new accountability measures to maintain political pressure against jail administrators.
Jonathan Ben-Menachem Feb 05, 2020
A lawsuit alleges Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office created bogus "subpoenas" to secure reluctant witnesses' cooperation—and even used them to jail crime victims.
People freed from jail on their own recognizance miss more court appearances because of disproportionate conditions placed on their release, a new study suggests.
Joshua Vaughn Jan 29, 2020
Staff at the troubled Orleans Justice Center are also accused of violating Edward Patterson’s constitutional rights by failing to treat his drug addiction.
Lauren Gill Dec 11, 2019
The poor healthcare that Bobbie Jean Johnson received during her more than 40 years in prison contributed to her death, family members say.
Roxanna Asgarian Nov 25, 2019
In 2018, the state’s voters approved a constitutional amendment that requires unanimous jury verdicts in felony cases for crimes committed on or after Jan. 1, 2019. Now, the Supreme Court is considering the constitutionality of the nonunanimity rule—with prosecutors arguing that the U.S. Constitution does not require unanimous jury verdicts in criminal cases.
Joshua Vaughn Nov 15, 2019
More than three years after heavy rains and flooding devastated the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women, officials have reached an agreement to build a new facility.
Lauren Gill Oct 29, 2019
The attorneys said they did nothing wrong by finding a victim in a rape case who had disappeared, but a judge accused them of making her unavailable.
Neither agency had written policies on how to capture or store the location data without violating privacy rights.
Emily Lane Oct 23, 2019
Increasing the city’s jail capacity will lead to higher incarceration rates, advocates say.
Lauren Gill Oct 07, 2019
A series of victories for advocates reflects a shift in the ‘popular narrative’ around bail.
Kira Lerner Sep 26, 2019
In rhetoric reminiscent of the ‘superpredator‘ scare of the 1990s, the New Orleans District Attorney warned of ‘a brazen population of delinquent teens.‘ But advocates and crime analysts alike say the data doesn't support his fearmongering claims about kids and crime.
Mike Hayes Jun 27, 2019
City officials say its vast network of cameras are simply a tool when responding to 911 calls and complaints of criminal activity. But several cases suggest the system serves an additional purpose.
Mike Hayes Jun 03, 2019
DA Leon Cannizzarro used jailhouse informant Ronnie Morgan to convict a man in the killing of five teenagers, but the case was overturned. Now, Morgan is petitioning for a prison transfer, reviving the murder case.
Lauren Gill May 24, 2019
‘The bill forces attorneys to choose between violating our ethical mandates or going to jail for following them.’
Kira Lerner May 10, 2019
The bail bonds industry was caught overcharging 50,000 families $6 million over 14 years, according to SPLC.
Bryce Covert May 08, 2019
The Orleans district attorney has said that violent youth are the city’s biggest crime problem.
Kira Lerner Apr 26, 2019
Activists say the sheriff is trying to add jail beds under the guise of mental health treatment.
Raven Rakia Apr 15, 2019
In 2000, Lamar Burks was convicted of murder and given a 70-year sentence. But the federal indictment of a DEA agent and witnesses who say Burks is innocent have raised new questions about his case.
Mike Hayes Apr 03, 2019
In 1996, Michele Benjamin was sentenced to life without parole for killing a man who she said solicited her for sex and menaced her with a weapon in New Orleans. A Supreme Court decision led her to be re-sentenced to life with a chance at parole in 2016. Today, a parole hearing brings the possibility of freedom.
Josie Duffy Rice Feb 11, 2019
A ban on dancers under 21 raises questions on the growing role of the state's Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control in policing clubs.
Melissa Gira Grant Dec 21, 2018
Advocates noted that bail gives prosecutors leverage to get guilty pleas from people who can’t afford to buy their way out of jail.
Raven Rakia Nov 28, 2018
The criminal court was funneling millions of dollars a year from poor communities.
Bryce Covert Aug 13, 2018
Catina Curley suffered physical abuse at the hands of her husband for more than a decade. When she turned a revolver on him, she was charged with murder and sentenced to life. Now, thanks to a court ruling, she has a chance at freedom.
Josie Duffy Rice Jul 27, 2018
With journalist Bryce Covert.
Adam H. Johnson Jul 26, 2018
Prosecutors and judges across the country are starting to feel eyes on them.
Bryce Covert Jul 16, 2018
From local charities, to the editorial pages, to city politicians, New Orleans strip clubs were blamed for human trafficking, leading to abusive police raids – harming the dancers they claimed they were protecting, and pushing the dancers to fight back.
Melissa Gira Grant May 30, 2018
Case called an “embarrassment to criminal justice system.”
Larry Hannan Nov 22, 2017