Louisiana

All who work in public defense know there is a problem -- we call it the "indigent defense crisis."  In 2002, NLADA established the Justice Standards, Evaluation and Research Initiative (JSERI) in order to concretely evaluate the depth and breadth of both successes and difficulties in indigent defense representation throughout the country, providing a measurement of public defense services against national standards.  JSERI's protocol for evaluation of any system combines a review of the jurisdiction's budgetary, caseload, and organizational information with site visits to observe courtroom practice and interviews of all key criminal justice system stakeholders and policymakers.

Author/Organization:
Publication Date: 02/19/2010

Gideon Alert: New Orleans DA questions appointed counsel for those who make bail

BY David Carroll on Wednesday, November 9, 2011 at 9:48 AM

Bail is often posted by someone else on behalf of a defendant.  Another person may have all sorts of reasons for wanting to get the defendant out of jail.  For example, parents of an adult defendant may find themselves serving as caretaker for the defendant’s children while the defendant is in jail, or a defendant’s in-laws may want the defendant to get back to work to support the family.  But these people may not have a similar or any incentive to hire a lawyer to defend the charge against the defendant.  The assets of others cannot be considered in determining whether the defendant is indigent and entitled to a public lawyer, because others cannot be compelled to hire a lawyer for the defendant.  

Louisiana court ruling on access to public funds for a partially indigent defendant.

Author/Organization: Supreme Court of Louisiana
Publication Date: 1997

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Louisiana seeks more effective sentencing; partners with Pew Center

BY Jon Mosher on Friday, January 21, 2011 at 9:53 AM

The Times-Picayune reports the state of Louisiana is partnering with the Pew Center on the States in an effort to reduce the state's overall prison population, and reduce recidivism. The project comes as the state, like so many others across the nation, is facing a major budget shortfall; in Louisiana's case, $1.6 billion.

Louisiana Public Defender Board sues Orleans Parish judges

BY Jon Mosher on Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at 11:37 AM

The Courthouse News Service reports that the Louisiana Public Defender Board has filed a law suit against 23 Orleans Parish (New Orleans) judges for their failure "to collect a $35 fee from criminal defendants who appear before them. The fee, which is mandatory, helps fund public defenders offices, and the judges' refusal to collect it has resulted in 'critical underfunding' of the New Orleans Public Defender's Office, according to the complaint."

When your client is a veteran, there are significant social service resources potentially available to aid you in effectively representing your client.

Author/Organization: Phyllis E. Mann
Publication Date: 12/06/2010

 A guide to social service resources and veterans benefits specialists in Louisiana, developed by the Louisiana Public Defender Board with assistance from the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs, to aid public defense attorneys in effectively representing clients who are veterans.

Author/Organization: Louisiana Public Defender Board (LPDB)
Publication Date: 11/2010

Items contained in the NLADA Library do not and are not meant to constitute advice of any kind. Content in the NLADA Library is contributed by users. If you believe this material infringes your or any other person’s copyright or if you feel that the material is inappropriate, please report this to NLADA Staff by clicking below.

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On June 17, 2010, NLADA released Effective Assistance of Counsel: Implementing the Louisiana Public Defender Act of 2007, a report concluding that the Louisiana Public Defender Act of 2007 has yet to take root in Louisiana’s 15th Judicial District.

The Louisiana legislature passed the Louisiana Public Defender Act of 2007 (“Act 307”) on a bipartisan and overwhelming vote, with the expressed intent of ensuring that “all indigent criminal defendants who are eligible to have appointed counsel at public expense receive effective assistance of counsel at each critical stage of the proceeding” and “that the right to counsel is delivered by qualified and competent counsel in a manner that is fair and consistent throughout the state.”

Author/Organization:
Publication Date: 2010

Gideon Alert: Transparency in Federal Criminal Justice Grants

BY David Carroll on Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 12:22 PM

Louisiana has a decentralized form of government.  With the ratification of the 1974 Louisiana Constitution, local subdivisions – known as parishes – were empowered with broad home rule authority, reversing the traditional concept of local government as a “creature of the state” possessing only delegated authority.  Locally elected governing boards (“police juries”) hold broad home rule authority, but their authority is disbursed across both the legislative and administrative functions such that there is no strong local administrative officer (e.g., a county manager).  The result is that, in most parishes, the Sheriff is the elected official who exerts the most control over local functions.