[caption id="attachment_1679" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Photo Courtesy of Nola.com"][/caption]
The Times-Picayune reported today that District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro's office has been working recently to improve procedures at New Orleans Criminal District Court. Among other things, Mr. Cannizzaro has urged the 12 judges at the CDC to more than double the number of jury trials they intend to hear this year (up to 600). Mr. Cannizzaro's office and the public defender's office both agree that the new goals and procedures will improve the court's operations. Furthermore, Mr. Cannizzaro's office is now taking issue with certain rulings issued by Criminal Court Judge Benedict Willard. According to the Times-Picayune, Judge Willard has either delayed cases (prompting intervention by the state Supreme Court) or repeatedly issued rulings which have had to be overturned by an appellate court. This apparent new activism on the part of the DA's office represents a level of public dissatisfaction with the local court system which has not been voiced in a number of years.