Category: Judicial Politics

WILL STEWART RUN FOR HIS OLD JUDGE’S SEAT IF HE LOSES DA RACE?

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by John Settle

It’s a question that has been asked since Day 1 after James Stewart announced his candidacy for the Caddo District Attorney race on August 13. And like many questions about the Stewart candidacy, it has not been answered.What Do You Say 3D Illustrated Words Question Mark

Most politicos believe that Stewart’s best shot at becoming the next DA for Caddo Parish was in the October 21 primary, and that a variety of unexpected factors prevented what many in his campaign believed was a slam dunk victory. And now there is street talk that some of the campaign insiders are skeptical of a Stewart victory on November 21— and that he may seek to reclaim his old seat. Read more

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9-1-1 Tapes, What’s the Urgency?

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Officer Thomas LeValley
Officer Thomas LaValley

by Daniel  R. Keele

Where does the real problem in the hubbub over the 9-1-1 tapes and body mike audio of Officer Thomas LaValley being released lie? This incident screamed for review of the relevant minutes and motions on the Grover Cannon case, in which he is accused of murdering Shreveport Police Officer Thomas LaValley. This review does not include the transcripts of the proceedings, nor was I in the courtroom at any time. It appears that the defense filed motions, which led to production of the audio/video tapes in question and other materials, including basically every piece of audio or video in the case. That is their responsibility and is in no way unusual.

At one point prior to the preliminary hearing and the grand jury indictment, City Attorney William Bradford and his assistant, Terrell Myles, filed and then appeared on a motion to quash a defense subpoena for case audio and video. The minutes reflect a re-urging of that motion, which meant it was previously denied. It was denied the second time. That’s consistent with Read more

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Thompson v. Stewart; Observations From Within the Bench and Bar

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Casey Simpson Candidate for Caddo DA
Casey Simpson

by J. Casey Simpson, Esq.

Political media personalities of Shreveport are new to me, but I have had my experience with them since early summer. I am asking friends to do us all a solid favor, which is our civic duty – to examine candidates – and vote our heart and good common sense on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, OR Saturday November 21 at your regular polling place. No, your primary vote is not added onto the general election day ballots. Its two different elections, but same candidates – the two who got the most votes of the six who were originally in the campaign for D.A.

This newspaper article relies on Mr. Brad Whitesides, a liberal democrat, and that is lovely, but he was quoted as an unbiased expert. Also, Ms. Burris relies on Mr. Michael Walker, another local man who is employed by the Edwards for Governor campaign. Dhu_Thompson--James_StewartThis is deceptive of the author, Ms. Burris. I worked side-by-side Michael last fall for Landrieu. See, I am objective. I support the candidate who I feel Read more

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DA CANDIDATE STEWART TOP TRAVEL SPENDER WHILE JUDGE

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John Settle-Opinion-May 2015While 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

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Stewart’s Defense Avoids Important Question for Voters

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John Settle-Opinion-May 2015The 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.

The Code of Judicial Conduct addresses what a judge must do when he becomes a candidate for a non-judicial office (like DA)—stating that the judge shall resign[letter of resignation]. The legal question is whether or not Stewart should resign immediately—like on Read more

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Reclaiming OUR justice system

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Lee Harville Candidate for Caddo DA
Lee Harville
Candidate for Caddo DA

by Lee Harville

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.

objective_checklistPreviously, 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

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Judge James Stewart Not Available on Court Website

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imageby Marion Marks

Obviously the Second Circuit Court of Appeal did not take Judge James Stewart’s decision to run for Caddo District Attorney lightly, even though he dated his resignation is not effective until September 6. The official website of the court has removed a link[this is how it was earlier today] to Judge Stewart’s personnel page and no page is visible with his name other than a dead link.

Litigation filed in Caddo District Court is making the rounds of judging in hopes of getting a hearing. At this point all judges presented with the case have recused themselves. More will certainly come for the litigation filed challenging Judge Stewart’s resignation, effective September 6, even though he has already Read more

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Judge’s Dismissed Case Remains Troubling – Truth Versus Perception

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Times Aquittal headline from Trial-Stewartby Marion Marks

When a former judge steps down from the appellate bench to run for DA and has a case involving an arrest for battery dismissed the troubling questions are  more than a one-day headline. Too many people are protesting that these questions should not even be asked, and that even asking them creates improper issues designed to inflame voters. If the facts are inaccurate I would personally apologize, but the evidence sent to us, and the front page of the Shreveport Times from August 2001 contains the same troubling questions of the dates of the trial that have been asked. The public can turn a blind eye to the facts only if questions are not repeatedly asked and answers are not demanded.

Stewart-Trial Date Issues
Troubling date change reported by Shreveport Times, Aug 21, 2001

The headline of the Shreveport Times from 2001 states that the case was dismissed, but reading beyond the headline it clearly includes the problematic issue that the Shreveport Times planned to cover the trial.  But the Times was given the same wrong date witnesses were given to appear who may have been excluded from the courtroom. Yes, the headline softens the impact of the story, but the date of the actual trial has never been explained to the public. The summons date clearly shows August 30 and the court date of August 20 seems to indicate intentional misleading information that is confirmed in the last 5 pages of the court documents. The complete 2001 headline and story proves the discrepancy between the date the Times believed the trial was to occur, August 30, and the date of the actual trial, August 20. From the Times – His trial was held Monday. Though the city clerk of court’s office in New Orleans said as late as Friday that the trial was set for Aug. 30.” If an effort to minimize media coverage of the trial was intentional, it certainly appears to be confirmed in the Read more

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Arrest for Battery – Another Problem for District Attorney Candidate James Stewart

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watches the race (Royalty Box!)
Sport of watching the race
(Royalty ONLY permitted!)

The new sport in Caddo Parish is watching the Caddo District Attorney race—and handicapping the candidates; seemingly the odds change virtually daily with new postings on social media, new candidates announcing, and more background baggage floating to the surface in what is becoming a polluted election pond. And for those candidates who have never run a contested election including James Stewart, the realities of real world politics is a lesson that will be quickly learned as the days go by until the October 24 election.John Settle-Opinion-May 2015

Stewart has already been subject to scrutiny for the “Run James Run” campaign that has been orchestrated by local attorneys Marshall Jones, Ron Miciotto, Allison Jones, Ross Owens, Paul Carmouche and Wilbert Prior among others. Stewart has denied any involvement in the distribution of flyers, a billboard posting, full page ads in a local publication, endorsement press conference and other campaign-like activities—and for Read more

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James Stewart: Caddo District Attorney Candidate or a Judge?

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John Settle-Opinion-May 2015Judge James Stewart is reportedly preparing to file retirement papers from his seat on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. He is due to announce his candidacy for the office of Caddo District Attorney on August 13th at a 70th Street venue. This not-so-secret announcement, tongue-in-cheek, is so well scripted that the committee is quite large and includes everyone who is anyone not intimately on another campaign committee who can’t give an excuse to bail.

I have been given some information from a number of sources that believe Judge Stewart should answer serious questions at his announcement press conference:

  • While a judge, did you know of and/or authorize the distribution Read more
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