Like Mr. James Gill, I too hope that none of our elected leaders believe that every 15- and 16-year-old murderer, rapist and armed robber should be released from custody upon reaching the age of 21. The problem, however, is that City Councilwoman Susan Guidry has yet to publicly state her position on this very important public safety issue.
I have repeatedly asked her to provide a comprehensive list of cases in which she feels that I misused the discretion granted to me under Louisiana law. Ms. Guidry, however, has not identified a single case — much less a comprehensive list. Until she defines the target offenders that her resolution is meant to benefit, the public and I must assume that she believes that every murder, rape and armed robbery case should be adjudicated in Juvenile Court.
Violent crime — armed robberies in particular — is on the rise in this city. I look forward to discussing any public safety issue with responsible City Council members — this issue included.
Furthermore, I believe the public — the entire public and not just representatives of nonprofits (some of whom are paid six-figure salaries to advocate for these issues) — should be allowed to participate. Ms. Guidry’s ready-fire-aim tactics breed mistrust in the community and evidence that her real goals are more about politics than policy.
Leon A. Cannizzaro Jr.
Orleans Parish district attorney