Voters in New Orleans will elect a new District Attorney this fall, and the person elected has the potential to transform the city’s criminal justice system for a generation. To get to know the candidates and where they stand on the issues, the Pelican Institute invited each qualified candidate to participate in a live PeliCast Q&A session. We are grateful to Judge Arthur Hunter, Councilmember-at-Large Jason Williams, and Judge Keva Landrum for their participation in the PeliCast.

Since its founding, the Pelican Institute has been heavily involved in efforts to reform Louisiana’s criminal justice system, which has spent hundreds of millions of dollars a year incarcerating tens of thousands of men and women with very little to show in results for public safety.

We were encouraged to hear that the candidates we interviewed are similarly committed to reforms that will bring transparency and fairness to our justice system. With that in mind, we remain hopeful that New Orleans’ next District Attorney will:

  • Leverage technology to keep defendants, victims, and the public informed of crime statistics, hearing dates, and case progression.
  • Support the Louisiana Justice Reinvestment package of reforms designed to reduce reincarceration and recidivism, while increasing public safety.
  • Support cash bail reform and reduce the court system’s reliance on fees collected from defendants.
  • Address the underlying problems leading to the commission of nuisance crimes.
  • Prioritize prosecution of the most serious crimes.
  • Ensure both accountability and transparency to the public when plea bargains are accepted in lieu of trial.
  • Shorten the timeline for screening cases.

See below for all of our District Attorney candidate Q&A PeliCasts. You can also view them on our Facebook page. We hope you find them helpful as you early vote from October 16 through October 27, or as you enter the ballot box on November 3.

Judge Arthur Hunter:

Councilmember-At-Large Jason Williams:

Judge Keva Landrum: