courts

Notes from New Orleans
2:00 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

New Orleans' First Family Court Judge Says It's A Labor Of Love

Bernadette D'Souza is the first permanent family court judge in Orleans Parish.

Orleans Parish recently created a permanent family court judge position. Legal aid attorney Bernadette D’Souza is the first to hold the post.

On this week’s Notes from New Orleans, Sharon Litwin talks to Judge D’Souza about how she got from a convent in India to a courtroom in Louisiana.

To read more about Bernadette D'Souza, visit NolaVie.com.

Read more
Latest News
10:59 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Ex-New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin Gets 10 Years In Corruption Case

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin leaves federal court after his conviction in New Orleans on Feb. 12. He was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison.
Gerald Herbert AP

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 2:29 pm

Updated at 11:20 a.m. ET

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison for bribery, money laundering and other crimes.

He was convicted Feb. 12 of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and kickbacks. The indictment included 21 counts.

Read more
Latest News
7:56 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Former Mayor Nagin Faces Sentencing Today

Former Mayor Ray Nagin is set for sentencing today for corruption conviction.

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin is set to be sentenced Wednesday morning for corruption. the man who gained national attention after Hurricane Katrina nine years ago is now looking at a possible 20-year sentence. Prosecutors want the maximum allowed under federal guidelines.

Read more
Law
2:58 am
Wed July 9, 2014

States Push For Prison Sentence Overhaul; Prosecutors Push Back

The Lafayette Parish Correctional Center in downtown Lafayette, La. By most counts, Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the country, but sentencing reformers have loosened some of the state's mandatory minimum sentences and made parole slightly easier to get.
Denny Culbert for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 7:01 am

Some red states like Louisiana and Texas have emerged as leaders in a new movement: to divert offenders from prisons and into drug treatment, work release and other incarceration alternatives.

By most counts, Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the country. In recent years, sentencing reformers in the capital, Baton Rouge, have loosened some mandatory minimum sentences and have made parole slightly easier for offenders to get.

But as reformers in Louisiana push for change, they're also running into stiffening resistance — especially from local prosecutors.

Read more
Latest News
11:20 am
Sat June 28, 2014

BP Asking Court To Order Some Claim Repayments

BP takes issue with claims process.

BP is stepping up efforts repayment of claims it finds unjustified.

The company is battling the system established to cover damage caused by BP’s oil spill four years ago in the Gulf of Mexico.

Read more
Latest News
7:42 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Judge Agrees To Review Gill Pratt Jury Verdict

Former New Orleans City Councilwoman Renee Gill Pratt, in 2009.
Credit Derek Bridges / Flickr

Former New Orleans City Councilwoman Renee Gill Pratt has gotten a reprieve — at least for now — on reporting to prison for a racketeering conviction.

A federal judge has agreed to look into whether jurors in her 2011 trial were affected by a prosecutor's anonymous online remarks.

Pratt was convicted in a plot to steal more than $1 million from taxpayer-funded charities.

She is among the federal defendants claiming their cases were tainted by the online comments of former Assistant U.S. Attorney Sal Perricone.

Read more
Latest News
7:33 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Louisiana Gay Marriage Laws Head To Federal Court In New Orleans

A federal judge is set to hear arguments on whether Louisiana must recognize same-sex marriages legally performed in other states.

This morning's hearing before U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman deals with lawsuits filed earlier this year by gay married couples. Those couples say Louisiana violates their rights to equal protection and due process by refusing to give them the rights of opposite-sex married couples.

The state and opponents of gay marriage want Feldman to reject the suits. They argue that each state has the right to define marriage in its own way.

Latest News
8:02 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Sentencing Delayed Again For Former Mayor Nagin

C. Ray Nagin.
Credit Franklin Reyes / AP

There’s been another delay in the sentencing of former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin. The federal court is now scheduled to decide the case  July 9.

Former Mayor Nagin could be facing at least 20 years for the 20 guilty verdicts he received on corruption charges.

They include bribery, fraud and money laundering that occurred during his two terms in office. It’s the second delay in the sentencing.

Read more
Latest News
9:13 am
Fri June 13, 2014

New Trial Granted For Former BP Engineer

Archive photo of the Hale Boggs Federal Courthouse in New Orleans.
Credit U.S. General Services Administration

A federal judge in New Orleans is ordering a new trial for a former BP engineer convicted of deleting text messages related to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

It stems from comments the jury forewoman overheard in a courthouse elevator.

BP engineer Kurt Mix was convicted in December of deleting messages he exchanged with his supervisor. Prosecutors allege he was trying to obstruct a grand jury investigation. Defense attorneys interviewed jurors after the verdict.

Read more
Latest News
7:32 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Court Told Fisherman Should Return BP Claim Money

A court-appointed investigator says a fisherman should return more than $50,000 in BP oil spill claim money.

Louis Freeh, the former FBI director appointed to investigate claims arising from the 2010 disaster, filed a federal court motion Tuesday to force the return of the money.

Read more

Pages