JSERI Blog Archives

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

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

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.  

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10:48 AM
Friday, January 21, 2011

Louisiana seeks more effective sentencing; partners with Pew Center

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.

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10:53 AM
Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Louisiana Public Defender Board sues Orleans Parish judges

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."

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12:37 PM
Thursday, August 12, 2010

Gideon Alert: Transparency in Federal Criminal Justice Grants

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.

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12:22 PM
Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Gideon Alert: Legislative changes yet to take root in Louisiana's 15th judicial district (Lafayette)

On June 17th, 2010, the National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA) released Effective Assistance of Counsel: Implementing the Louisiana Public Defender Act of 2007, a report concluding that the

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2:26 PM
Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Gideon Alert: Gulf oil spill mires Louisiana's right to counsel reforms

The Louisiana legislature passed the Louisiana Public Defender Act of 2007 (“Act 307”) on an overwhelmingly bipartisan 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 “t

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9:46 AM