DA’s Touts Violent Crime Plea Record and More as Williams Reflects on First Year in Office

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Last year, The District Attorney’s Office secured over 3500 guilty pleas across over 1700 cases, according to data released by the Office. And officials say it has started 2022 with the same energy.

During the first week of 2022, the Office secured 22 new guilty pleas secured for offenses including theft of a motor vehicle, illegal use of weapons, domestic violence and aggravated assault with a firearm, according to a press release issued by the DA’s Office.

“Despite public chatter, reports and and the challenges of COVID, this office remains committed to increasing safety for the people of New Orleans. From day 1, we have been laser focused on violent crime and holding those who cause harm in our communities accountable. This has not changed and we look forward to continuing to secure justice for victims and their families in New Orleans.”

The Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office is pointing to its record on pleas deals as one measure it is using to keep New Orleans neighborhoods safer. Williams, who ran on a platform of criminal justice reform, was elected in late 2020 and assumed the office in January 2021. He also says his office has had a “laser focus” on the most violent crimes — another step that helps ensure that the Office’s resources are being employed in ways that make the biggest impact on public safety in New Orleans.

According to data released by the office, more than 72 percent of the cases accepted by the office for prosecution over the last 90 days were for felony charges.

“My team and I have been hard at work to deliver on our promises,” Williams said in a YouTube video.

Other accomplishments touted in a year-end report released by the office include:

  • Obtained 58 grand jury indictments for violent crimes committed in New Orleans
  • Vacated the excessive sentences of nearly 100 people who had served more than 20 years of life or life equivalent sentences, saving the State at least $5 million a year in Department of Corrections incarceration costs
  • Brought 86 people home to their families from prison, including 49 people who were sentenced to life without parole
  • Issued salary increase of lowest-paid Assistant District Attorneys
  • Secured guilty pleas in over 1,700 cases, with 3,000 charges resulting in guilty pleas as part of these case
  • Settled three years of litigation against former DA’s Office administrations for prosecutorial misconduct, saving taxpayers millions in financial exposure and legal fees
  • Doubled the size of its Victim/Witness services staff, including placing our office’s first ever Victim/Witness Advocate in the Juvenile Division
  • Launched Restorative Justice Diversion Program
  • Launched Cold Case Unit and secured indictment and arrest for 2016 homicide, obtained in part by new unit
  • Signed a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement with the City of New Orleans and New Orleans Public Library System to open DA Satellite Offices in low-income neighborhoods in 2022