No matter your view of this story or of the current administration or those who have been part of it, something has to change. Because of the leadership at the DA’s office, we, including hard working and honest prosecutors and police officers, are viewed with disdain and distrust by those beyond our borders and by a good number of those within our parish. In large part, this is because the current DA sees a system of justice that is incompatible with fundamental fairness, constitutional rights, and compassion.
This story is at the heart of what is wrong with Read more
While a judge on Shreveport’s Second Circuit Court of Appeals, James Stewart enjoyed traveling on the taxpayer’s dime—in a big, big way. In fact his travel/education expenses from July 2011 through July 2015 totaled $54,183. The average expenses of the other 8 judges on this court was only $14,719.
Stewart obviously enjoyed his travels while a judge so much so that he spent a week in Los Angeles in July of this year—less than a month before his DA race declaration. He also traveled to such great vacation destinations as Destin, Las Vegas, Miami, St. Louis, San Antonio, and Read more
By Restoring Accountability, Integrity and Transparency!
[Editor’s NOTE: The following article exceeds the allotted one-per-week, but it was submitted earlier and is being released at filing dates to make readers aware of the importance of this election.] –This is NOT a candidate endorsement.]
We currently have a District Attorney’s Office that is badly in need of reform. The Louisiana Supreme Court and the Louisiana Second Circuit Court of Appeal have issued numerous opinions rebuking the District Attorney’s Office for violating constitutional, procedural, and evidentiary rules. In several cases, including two death penalty cases, convictions were overturned on account of this. Violations include the withholding of evidence that was favorable to the accused, the introduction of evidence the prosecutor knew or should have known was not proper, and the systematic exclusion from jury service of members of a minority group.
We will put an end to these and all other practices that are unethical, divisive, or wasteful.
We pledge to you that we will:
1. Insist on absolute integrity and the highest standard of ethical conduct; unethical or illegal conduct will result in immediate firing.
2. Seek the death penalty in a manner that is meaningful, open, and Read more
A Caddo Parish Assistant District Attorney asked me the other day, “Who is more powerful in Caddo Parish: the Caddo Parish District Attorney or the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office?” He gave a compelling argument for why the District Attorney was more powerful than Sheriff Steve Prator.
I think this entire thought process is symbolic of the problem. There is no more team in Caddo Parish, there is no more we. There is only us versus them.
Prosecutors brag about their power and their accomplishments. I have sent this many people to jail. I have tried this many cases. I have . . . ; I have . . . ; I have . . . . Read more
The Caddo Parish office of the district attorney ignores American standards of fair play and substantial justice by violating basic rights to a speedy trial and a jury of peers, for example, and this has bloated the docket, impaired the criminal court’s function, and wastes our resources. We have a problem, I can fix it, and I express how on my website.
Induced incarceration, caused, and perpetuated by the policies of the DA’s office, resulting in jail crowding of mostly indigent defendants accused of petty crimes and minor probation violations, multiple felony offenders who need to be tried, but have not, is the avoidable result. Cases prescribe. Rare dismissals or misdemeanor plea Read more
The questions my lawsuit raises has not been answered by pleadings filed by attorneys for James Stewart. And it is obvious that Stewart and his supporters do not want to answer them for Caddo voters.
Stewart publicly declared his candidacy for Caddo District Attorney on August 13. On August 8 Stewart sent a letter to the chief judge of the Louisiana Supreme Court advising that he would retire as a Second Circuit Judge on September 6.
Recently the Caddo Parish District Attorney’s Office and the entire criminal justice process in Caddo Parish has come under harsh criticism from local and national media. There have been questions concerning the use of the death penalty in Caddo Parish. There also have been questions concerning the removal of blacks from juries in Caddo Parish.
No matter how you view this coverage, one thing is clear. The next Caddo Parish District Attorney must be a leader. He or she must demand a staff and an office that is objective, open, and transparent in dealing with the public, with victims, with law enforcement, with defense attorneys, and with defendants.
Previously, I have stated that I would employ an open, detailed, and regular procedure when deciding whether to seek the death penalty. The same objective process will be used when deciding how to prosecute cases. This process will ensure that there is no rush to judgment. It will ensure that back-door deals by connected attorneys do Read more
Years ago when I was a public defender in Caddo, I was walking into court and two tough looking dudes were walking out. One elbowed the other and said, “Yo, you’re Mr. Rogers, right?” “Yes. Do I know you?” “You were my lawyer.” “Are you pissed off?” “Naw, man! I’m out of jail! I’m just paying the fine! We’re straight!”
“So you’re out of jail. Do you want to know how to stay out of jail?”
“Yeah man!” He elbows his friend, “How you stay out of jail?”
“Don’t drink, stay away from crazy women. You fellows do that, and the odds of you going to jail reduce by about 98%”
The guy slapped his buddy’s back and yelled, “I TOLD YOU MR. ROGERS KEEPS IT REAL!”
And right now we really need to change our approach on domestic violence. Really.
The criminal justice system is a big whirl-pool drain that sucks people in, and Read more
Shreveport recently has been met with unspeakable tragedy. One of our brightest was murdered doing what police do every day: moving toward danger, toward a person bent on harming another. He followed his oath to serve and to protect. Though there may have been safer alternatives, he acted to protect us, an act of devotion to his oath that cost him his life. This is the same unflinching devotion that we will show those left behind to mourn. It’s the same steadfast support we pledge to the entire Shreveport Police Department, the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office, all law enforcement and first responders. Let there be no doubt, however, that the District Attorney does these brave people no service by trying criminal cases in media nor the court of public opinion. The District Attorney serves and protects law enforcement by guaranteeing them and the community that killing a police officer is inexcusable, intolerable Read more