District Attorney's Fifteen Defendant Indictment Exposes OPD's Lack of Adequate Resources, Jeopardizing the Case

New Orleans – Yesterday, the district attorney handed down a 15 co-defendant indictment. The unprecedented number of group prosecutions is consistent with the Mayor's new Group Violence Reduction Strategy (GVRS). While the initiative is a commendable effort to address the city's violence, it stresses an already strained public defense office and criminal justice system.

Prosecuting so many people at once creates ethical conflicts in their defense. After sustaining millions of dollars in cuts over the past two years, the Orleans Public Defenders Office (OPD) simply does not have adequate resources to handle all charged. Many of the defendants may not have attorneys when proceedings begin unless they have money for private counsel.

Mayor Landrieu spoke about justice and fairness in his press conference this morning. But justice and fairness can only be served if all agencies are able to contribute to the discussion and able to handle the outcome of the initiatives. The GVRS strategy is placing great strain on our office and resources. Additionally, failing to include and consult OPD in developing or implementing the GVRS threatens to weaken or ruin the impact of GVRS efforts.

Read More in our Press Release

Home News & Events OPD News District Attorney's Fifteen Defendant Indictment Exposes OPD's Lack of Adequate Resources, Jeopardizing the Case
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