Prosecutor Kevin Guillory says his experience makes him suited to become Orleans Parish’s newest criminal court judge.
“The majority of my career, nearly 12 years, I’ve been a public servant. I served nearly 10 years as an assistant district attorney in the Orleans parish district attorney’s office,” Guillory says. “In 2009, I became the supervisor and began working as a major offense trail attorney, which means that I’m responsible for the prosecution of any cases that have a mandatory life sentence or are receiving a death penalty. Over the course of my career I’ve had well over 200 jury trials, 50 of which would have been homicide, aggravated rape and crimes of violence. And I’ve also worked briefly in private practice where I did criminal defense. I’m in court every day. So I’m constantly dealing with criminal law every day. I’m well versed in the criminal law, criminal procedure; code of evidence even the children’s code.
Guillory says his background is important because Section D has not had a permanent judge in more than 18 months.
“We have . . . a seat where there has not been a sitting judge for well over a year and a half now and because of the backlog, because of accused individuals sitting in jail that have yet to have a trial or because of the victims of crimes that have not had their cases progress, I think it’s imperative to put someone in that section that can pick up where Judge Marullo left off.
Guillory says while he believes in being tough on crime, he also understands that arrests, convictions and jail time will not solve the city’s crime problems.
“I believe . . . the system needs to focus on incarcerating the right people, while providing the services and rehabilitation for the people that would best benefit from that,” Guillory says. “There are many (underutilized) services available at the court in my opinion, such as re-entry court, drug court, mental health court, veterans court; and I believe those services need to be implemented by more than the judges than are currently implementing them. We need to be sure that we’re not so focused on punishing people, but that we are also determining what underlying issues have resulted in a person becoming accused and arrested and if there is something that the criminal justice system can do to provide them services and help so they don’t come back through the system.”