CREATE A CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION TO CONFRONT THE SINS OF THE PAST

If we want all the people of New Orleans to believe in our laws and courts, we must acknowledge the pain and havoc our criminal legal system has wrought in our poor and black communities. 

  • As District Attorney, Jason will establish a new Civil Rights Division. This division will: 

(1) Work with federal authorities to aggressively pursue charges against any police officer or other official who hurts, lies or cheats in the name of the law, including past investigations that were dropped.

(2) Re-investigate cold murder cases. Too many Black and brown people have been murdered and their killers never identified or held accountable because we've failed to solve enough crime in poor neighborhoods. 

(3) Review the accuracy and justice of past convictions and sentences. Current DA Cannizzaro has made it a practice not to disclose new evidence that might reveal a past conviction was made erroneously or through misconduct by police or prosecutors. 

  • Jason will immediately create a special Conviction Integrity Division within his office dedicated to rooting out and exposing evidence that might allow an innocent person to go free, no matter how many years have passed. This fully staffed prosecutorial integrity unit will review past convictions, help free the wrongfully convicted and pursue the real perpetrators. It will not operate in a vacuum. Rather, they will search for any pattern of past misconduct so that any similar cases can also be reviewed. 
  • Jason will be proactive in preventing wrongful convictions in the future as well. He will mandate that all potentially exculpatory evidence be shared with the defense contemporaneously.

Record of Reform: Councilmember Jason Williams Issues Statement in Response to Today's U.S. Supreme Court Decision Abolishing Split Juries

Record of Reform: Council President to Bring "Undesign the Redline" Exhibit to City Hall

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