Report: Nearly 200 New Orleans Cops Were Accused Of Sexual Misconduct, Domestic Violence, or Harassment
A judge ruled the report can be used as evidence in the civil case against an ex-NOPD officer who sexually assaulted a teenage rape victim.
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.
‘She Just Said She Wanted To Be Believed’
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.
How Organizers Are Defending Against Evictions Amid a Pandemic
Tenants rights groups in Brooklyn, Kansas City, New Orleans, and elsewhere are using physical blockades and direct action to keep people in their homes.
The Defund Movement Aims to Change the Policing and Prosecution of Domestic Violence
Though domestic violence is often cited as a reason to maintain the carceral status quo, advocates say there are more humane—and effective—alternatives.
Starve The Mass Incarceration Beast By Shutting The Front Door
To decarcerate New Orleans, we must defund the police department.
Jacklean Davis Was The First Black Woman To Serve As a Homicide Detective in New Orleans. Did A Now Disbarred Prosecutor Bring About Her Fall?
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.’
New Orleans Judge Steered People to Wear Ankle Monitors From Company Run by Campaign Donors, Lawsuit Says
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.
Some Of The Hardest-Working Frontline Employees In New Orleans Are Living Paycheck to Paycheck
Garbage collectors in the city are striking for $15 an hour, hazard pay, and PPE.
Louisiana Women Incarcerated for Defending Themselves Against Abusive Partners Seek Clemency Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
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.
Lessons from Hurricane Katrina For The COVID-19 Recovery To Come
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.
Louisiana Continues to Imprison People Past Their Release Dates
A Department of Corrections official knew the extrajudicial practice was going on but little has been done to correct it.
Major County Jails Are Decarcerating, But Violence, Deaths Persist
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.
Should a Prosecutor’s Immunity Cover Faking Documents to Lock Up Witnesses?
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.
In New Orleans, Drug Testing Is Imposed More Frequently on People Released Without Money Bail
People freed from jail on their own recognizance miss more court appearances because of disproportionate conditions placed on their release, a new study suggests.
New Orleans Jail Staff Supplied Fentanyl That Killed Incarcerated Man, Lawsuit Alleges
Staff at the troubled Orleans Justice Center are also accused of violating Edward Patterson’s constitutional rights by failing to treat his drug addiction.
Longtime Louisiana Prisoner Who Maintained Her Innocence Dies Less Than Two Years After Her Release
The poor healthcare that Bobbie Jean Johnson received during her more than 40 years in prison contributed to her death, family members say.
Louisiana Prosecutors Push To Retain Nonunanimous Jury Verdicts
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.
Louisiana To Build New Prison For Women Displaced By 2016 Storm
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.
New Orleans Public Defenders Punished For Locating Key Witness
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.
Tech Company Gave Two New Orleans-Area Sheriff’s Offices Access to Track Cell Phones Without Warrants
Neither agency had written policies on how to capture or store the location data without violating privacy rights.
New Orleans Advocates Oppose Jail Expansion Plan Ahead of Public Hearing
Increasing the city’s jail capacity will lead to higher incarceration rates, advocates say.
Courts Are Intervening to Dismantle Unjust Cash Bail Systems Across the U.S.
A series of victories for advocates reflects a shift in the ‘popular narrative’ around bail.
My Year As A New Orleans Consent Decree Insider
The Crescent City is in the final stages of a multimillion-dollar federal police reform process. Here‘s why it and other programs like it fail to achieve real reform.
New Orleans Youth Crime: The Epidemic That Wasn’t
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.
Arrested for Shoplifting and Dead 2 Days Later
A lawsuit filed by Kentrell Hurst’s children is the latest against New Orleans Sheriff Marlin Gusman over jail conditions.
New Orleans Police Appear to Use Surveillance to Initiate Investigations
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.
Notorious Jailhouse Informant Case Resurfaces as New Orleans D.A. Race Nears
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.
Louisiana Bill Could Jail Defense Attorneys for Doing Their Jobs
‘The bill forces attorneys to choose between violating our ethical mandates or going to jail for following them.’
New Orleans Bail Companies Owed Millions In Illegal Fees. Now They May Get To Keep The Money.
The bail bonds industry was caught overcharging 50,000 families $6 million over 14 years, according to SPLC.
New Orleans’s Youth Jail Faces Overcrowding Crisis as D.A. Targets Kids
The Orleans district attorney has said that violent youth are the city’s biggest crime problem.
New Orleans Wants to Make Its Notorious Jail Bigger
Activists say the sheriff is trying to add jail beds under the guise of mental health treatment.
Houston Homicide Under New Scrutiny After Misconduct Allegations About DEA Agent Emerge
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.
Sentenced To Life At 16 In Slaying Of Man Who She Said Pulled A Gun On Her
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.
Louisiana Strip Club Dancers Fear More Crackdowns as ‘Anti-Trafficking’ Law Goes Into Effect
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.
New Orleans Prosecutor Calls New Bail Fund ‘Extremely Disturbing’
Advocates noted that bail gives prosecutors leverage to get guilty pleas from people who can’t afford to buy their way out of jail.
‘Will I Get Out Today?’
Louisiana is keeping people behind bars long after their sentences have expired, attorneys say.
New Orleans Court Ordered To Stop Funding Itself On The Backs Of The Poor
The criminal court was funneling millions of dollars a year from poor communities.
New Orleans Woman Sentenced to Life In Prison For Killing Abusive Husband Is Granted New Trial
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.
The Appeal Podcast Episode 9: The History––and Promise––of the Bail Abolition Movement
With journalist Bryce Covert.
The Court Watch Movement Wants To Expose The ‘House of Cards’
Prosecutors and judges across the country are starting to feel eyes on them.
The New Orleans Police Raid That Launched A Dancer Resistance
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.
Louisiana Man Ordered Released From Jail After Waiting Almost Eight Years For Trial
Case called an “embarrassment to criminal justice system.”