The two judicial seats on Saturday’s ballot will head to a runoff next month, whittling the eight-candidate field down to Stephen Jupiter and Clint Smith in Traffic Court and eliminating one person for a runoff between Harry Cantrell and Mark Vicknair for Magistrate.
Joseph Davis, 17, pleaded guilty to four counts of forcible rape and one count each of second-degree kidnapping and armed robbery, and was sentenced to 40 years in prison last week for his role in the the rape of a Garden District woman in February, reports Katherine Sayre of The Times-Picayune. Davis “initiated the rape and wielded a gun in the assault,” Sayre reported; 16-year-old Sheldon Jefferson had previously agreed to serve 30 years for raping the woman; and 18-year-old Christopher Davis, the driver in the incident, had previously been sentenced to 35 years.
So who gets to decide how many judges are too many? Mayor Mitch Landrieu has strong feelings on the subject, based on his own experiences when he was in the private practice of law and his observations from the mayor’s office. There are too many judges and the money devoted to supporting empty courtrooms and under-worked judges could be better spent if the money was instead in the city’s general fund, Landrieu says.
Even Tulane alum Allan Katz thinks that Mike Perlstein of WWL and Gordon Russell of the Advocate certainly did a bang up job on their first-rate investigation regarding Tulane’s century-old scholarship program. Like many old habits in New Orleans, there is an aversion to change. But change is definitely necessary for this program.
We were shocked and saddened this week about the latest developments in the Danzinger Bridge case. Who are the worst perpetrators? The cops who tried to cover up what they had done? The U.S. Attorney’s Office for using anonymous blogs to spin their tale? Or the Justice Department, while charged with providing oversight for local U.S. Attorneys, almost turned a blind eye to what might be going on here in the Big Easy.
Laws that add additional punishments for crimes that are motivated by hate are necessary because they give equal protection to all citizens, not just “special groups,” an attorney for the Anti-Defamation League said Tuesday night.
Hate-crime laws punish acts of violence motivated by bias based on race, religion, sexual orientation or other characteristics, said ADL legal counsel David Barkey. And because everyone has a race, a gender or a sexual identification, everyone is protected, so everyone has a stake in making sure such incidents are reported and prosecuted, Barkey said in an educational session on hate-crime laws at the Jewish Community Center sponsored by his group and the Forum for Equality.
Ameca Reali joins a small group at the corner of Orleans Avenue and North Galvez Street near the Lafitte Housing Development. Donning oversized shades, Reali recognizes that this particular day in September is a scorcher and immediately thanks the volunteers for braving the high temperatures, especially on a Friday afternoon.
After Reali leads a quick huddle, everyone takes off in separate directions to begin the task of distributing fliers for a unique community event she is organizing: an expungement fair.
Christopher Davis, 18, was sentenced to 35 years in prison and Sheldon Jefferson, 16, was sentenced to 30 years for their roles after pleading guilty this week in the February rape and kidnapping of a woman from in front of her Garden District home, according to a report by Mike Perlstein of our partners at WWL-TV. The third defendant, 17-year-old Joseph Davis, is set to be in court on Monday.
In one of the first major events to bring all the candidates for the Oct. 19 special judicial elections on a single stage, the eight candidates for traffic court and two of the three candidates for magistrate court met Wednesday night to answer questions posed by the Alliance for Good Government.
Several weeks ago, we wrote a column listing a number of reasons why Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s plan to move City Hall to the iconic but empty Charity Hospital was an excellent idea.
In the course of our interview with him, Pres Kabacoff said he hoped that the Civil District Court judges would reconsider their plans to build a new Civil District Court building in Duncan Plaza – adjacent to the current City Hall on Loyola Avenue – and instead decide to join Mayor Landrieu’s administration and the City Council in the move to Charity.
That all seemed reasonable enough to us, but then we received a visit from Civil District Court Judges Michael Bagneris and Kern Reese who told us the court is dead set on building their own structure and won’t be swayed by the mayor to move to Charity.
Sandra Hester, who was arrested during Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s community meeting about the budget at the Jewish Community Center last year, has filed a lawsuit against Landrieu, the city, the New Orleans Police Department and other officials alleging that excessive force was used in her arrest and that her constitutional and civil rights were violated, according to a report from our partners at WWL-TV. The city has called her claims “unfounded.”
Sometimes so much can turn on so little. It was June 26, 2013, around 2 a.m. Marshall Coulter, a 14-year-old boy with a history of criminal behavior, jumped the locked driveway gate of a home in Mid-City. It was the home of a family: Merritt Landry, his pregnant wife and his young child.
Within the home, a dog barked. Landry was awakened and went to see if there was an intruder. He took a pistol with him. Once outside, he reported seeing Coulter and asking him to freeze. Coulter turned around to face him and appeared to be reaching for something on his hip. Landry fired once, hitting Coulter in the head. Coulter survived, but remains in critical condition.
A 39-year-old New Orleans man was sentenced to more than nine years in federal prison following an investigation into the sale of crack cocaine at a Central City address, authorities said.
On the instructions of a federal judge, the New Orleans City Council quietly retreated on Tuesday from its prohibition against overnight preaching on Bourbon Street.
Nothing in New Orleans is ever simple. For example, consider Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s plan to move our obsolete City Hall over to vacant Charity Hospital.
Civil District Court Judge Michael Bagneris says that’s a fine idea for city government but it doesn’t work for the Civil Courts who have their own plans and money to refit the former state office building site in Duncan Plaza. “We won’t be moving to Charity Hospital,” says Judge Bagneris. Evidently many other CDC judges agree.
Less than a half hour after George Zimmerman was acquitted of murdering Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teenager in self-defense, his brother, Robert Zimmerman Jr. appeared live on CNN to begin damage control.
Robert has since been making the rounds in an aggressive, vigorous push to reassert his brother’s innocence and praise the American judicial system — all the while doing the proverbial happy dance on Trayvon’s grave.
The George Zimmerman “nana-nana boo boo” media tour, led by Robert, is in full throttle.
On trial for criminal conspiracy to armed robbery and armed robbery with a firearm, the 12-person jury unanimously ruled he was not guilty on both counts.
There was no question as to whether Mackey was at the scene of the armed robbery. He had planned to meet Megan Wales, a fellow Tulane student, at her apartment on 600 Broadway Street that day to buy marijuana from her.
The question was whether he helped orchestrate the event, which became much more than a simple drug deal when two men burst into the apartment and one pinned Wales on her apartment floor with a gun to her head.
A defense witness called in the trial of former Tulane football player Trent Mackey said he pointed the finger at Mackey after police told him Mackey had already thrown him under the bus.
Mackey, 23, has been charged with armed robbery with a firearm and criminal conspiracy to armed robbery. The charges stem from a July 12, 2012, robbery that the defense says was poorly investigated and pegged on Mackey, while prosecutors have argued that Mackey orchestrated.