State of Louisiana Archives: on Crime


Adrian Perkins: Police should have guard-in mindset, not military mindset

To the question of what the city is doing to ensure what happened in the death of Floyd does not occur in Shreveport, Perkins said, "I'm confident that I've set up a culture within our city to be respectful of our citizens. When I was running for office I talked about community-oriented policing and our police officers protecting our citizens and taking more of a guard-in mindset rather than a military type of mindset when engaging our citizens."
Source: The Shreveport Times on 2020 Louisiana Senate race

John Bel Edwards: Create an Office of Human Trafficking Prevention

We will create an Office of Human Trafficking Prevention within the Office of the Governor. Ending human trafficking is an issue that both my wife Donna and I are very passionate about. We have certainly made progress when it comes to identifying trafficking cases and supporting survivors. But creating a designated office will allow us to place an even more concentrated effort on ending these horrific crimes that are tantamount to modern day slavery.
Source: 2021 State of the State Address to Louisiana legislature Apr 12, 2021

Antoine Pierce: End qualified immunity for police; redirect funding

Pierce has been vocal about calls to end qualified immunity for police and redirect their funding for social services. He also marched in Baton Rouge in support of George Floyd.

Antoine Pierce for U.S. Senate @AntoinePierce: So honored to step forward as one of the leaders this peaceful protest today. We must organize and mobilize others to tackle the tough challenges of racism and injustice. #NoJusticeNoPeace

Source: Humanity Forward 2020 Louisiana Senate endorsements Jun 11, 2020

Antoine Pierce: Pass criminal justice reform

Source: 2020 Louisiana Senate campaign website AntoinePierce.com Feb 4, 2020

Eddie Rispone: Modernize criminal justice system; make it more efficient

We need to modernize our criminal justice system, much like we do in business. Using technological advancements and modern approaches, we can create a justice system that is more efficient and effective. We should promote proven re-entry programs and training to make sure individuals released from prison can rejoin society as productive citizens with access to a quality job.
Source: 225 Magazine on 2019 Louisiana Gubernatorial race Sep 30, 2019

Adrian Perkins: Repealed "saggy pants" law targeting people of color

Lawmakers voted to repeal a 12-year-old ordinance banning pants that sag below the waist after outcry over the death of Anthony Childs, who was stopped by police for violating the law. "It is my opinion that while the ordinance was originally well-intentioned, it unfairly targets people of color," Perkins said. "Just like many initiatives in the war on drugs that we now realize are discriminatory against people of color, we've evolved to reach that understanding. And this is in that vein."
Source: Mother Jones newsmagazine on 2020 Louisiana Senate race Jun 13, 2019

Eddie Rispone: Religious objection to death penalty, and not a deterrent

Rispone said, "I really don't believe in the death penalty. It goes back to my faith--really and truly. If it was proven to be a deterrent and it saved innocent lives, then I would probably have to think hard about it again." He said he came to that conclusion after discussions with prosecutors and others in law enforcement.
Source: The Advocate on 2019 Louisiana Gubernatorial race Mar 29, 2019

Ralph Abraham: I favor the death penalty & I'm also favor enforcing it

when caught you will be put to death. While we're at it, I'd like to see child molesters added to the list of death penalty eligible. There is no greater monster than someone who harms an innocent child." Abraham has aggressively pushed for the use of the death penalty in Louisiana. "Not only am I in favor of the death penalty, but I'm also in favor of enforcing it," Abraham told The Advocate. "If you murder someone in Louisiana, you should know that
Source: The Advocate on 2019 Louisiana Gubernatorial race Mar 29, 2019

John Bel Edwards: Reduce highest incarceration rate in the nation

Edwards has championed criminal justice reform: "For 40 years, Louisiana took the approach that we were just going to put more people in prison, keep them there longer and pay whatever it cost. We couldn't afford it, and we were not safer as a result."

In fact, Louisiana had the highest incarceration rate in the nation until this year, when it fell below Oklahoma's. Edwards explains how he shed that distinction by releasing some nonviolent offenders early and then reimagining the whole system. As a result, he says, "we were able to save 12 million dollars last fiscal year alone, and we're going to reinvest eight million of that into making sure that people are successful upon re-entry" into society. Edwards has also restarted the process of commuting sentences; as of October, he has approved 119 of the 164 pardons recommended by the state's Pardon Board during his term. (His predecessor, Bobby Jindal, had approved only 23 pardons during the same point in his first term.)

Source: America Magazine on 2019 Louisiana gubernatorial race Dec 14, 2018

John Bel Edwards: No executions until better lethal drugs found

On the issue of the death penalty, Mr. Edwards has been circumspect, declining to take a position on efforts to ban the punishment in Louisiana. At the same time, the Edwards administration has supported a federal court order that prohibits executions because pharmaceutical companies refuse to provide the drugs needed for lethal injections under Louisiana law. Because of the inability to obtain these specific drugs, Louisiana has not carried out an execution since 2010.
Source: America Magazine on 2019 Louisiana gubernatorial race Dec 14, 2018

Ralph Abraham: Violent committed new crimes after release

Criminal Justice: Support 2017 reforms that supported incarceration alternatives, reduced prison terms for those who can be safely supervised outside, and removed felon re-entry barriers?

Abraham: Oppose. Also voted against related federal bill. Charges that "repeat violent offenders have been released early, and committed new violent crimes."

Bel Edwards: Support. Played major role in enacting them.

Eddie Rispone: No position found.

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Guide to 2019 Louisiana Governor race Nov 1, 2018

Lance Harris: Require unanimous jury verdicts in noncapital felony cases

SB243: Proposed constitutional amendment amends the present constitution to provide that a unanimous verdict is required in cases for noncapital felony offenses committed on or after January 1, 2019.

Analysis by the Baton Rouge Advocate (May 14, 2018):For the first time since its birth in the Jim Crow era, a Louisiana law that allows juries to return non-unanimous verdicts in felony trials will go directly before state voters in a referendum. Passed Senate 27-10-2 on Apr/4/18; Passed House 84-15-6 on May/14/18; State Rep. Lance Harris voted YES; [Note: As a referendum question, this did not require governor's signature.]

Source: The Advocate on Louisiana legislative voting records SB243 May 14, 2018

Karen Carter Peterson: Require unanimous jury verdicts in noncapital felony cases

SB243: Proposed constitutional amendment amends the present constitution to provide that a unanimous verdict is required in cases for noncapital felony offenses committed on or after January 1, 2019.

Analysis by the Baton Rouge Advocate (May 14, 2018):For the first time since its birth in the Jim Crow era, a Louisiana law that allows juries to return non-unanimous verdicts in felony trials will go directly before state voters in a referendum. Passed Senate 27-10-2 on Apr/4/18; State Sen. Karen Carter Peterson co-sponsored and voted YES; Passed House 84-15-6 on May/14/18; [Note: As a referendum question, this did not require governor's signature.]

Source: The Advocate on Louisiana legislative voting records SB243 Apr 4, 2018

Troy Carter: Require unanimous jury verdicts in noncapital felony cases

SB243: Proposed constitutional amendment amends the present constitution to provide that a unanimous verdict is required in cases for noncapital felony offenses committed on or after January 1, 2019.

Analysis by the Baton Rouge Advocate (May 14, 2018):For the first time since its birth in the Jim Crow era, a Louisiana law that allows juries to return non-unanimous verdicts in felony trials will go directly before state voters in a referendum. Passed Senate 27-10-2 on Apr/4/18; State Sen. Troy Carter co-sponsored and voted YES; Passed House 84-15-6 on May/14/18; [Note: As a referendum question, this did not require governor's signature.]

Source: The Advocate on Louisiana legislative voting records SB243 Apr 4, 2018

John Bel Edwards: Reduce incarceration rate of non-violent offenders

I'm asking that we work together to make Louisiana smart on crime. What we're doing now is not working for our state.

Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the country, and we lock people up at a rate of nearly twice the national average. But our crime rates are comparable to other southern states. As elected officials, we have an obligation to acknowledge when an aspect of our government is broken and we must work together to find a solution.

In 2015, we made a commitment to re- If adopted into law, this package will safely reduce our prison population by 13%, and it will save taxpayers over $300 million over the next decade.

Source: 2017 Louisiana State of the State address Apr 10, 2017

Clay Higgins: Resounding voice for the Thin Blue Line

Our nation has come to be divided along lines that were long ago erased, including racial divide. I have been a street cop for 13 years and my own relationship amongst the black communities that I've served reflects my strong belief in Constitutionally sound, compassionate police service. Somehow, we have allowed our citizenry to become influenced by insidious forces which endeavor to divide us whereby we may be controlled. This unfounded manifestation of hatred must be tackled from all sides by Patriot Americans of every color and creed. We must meet this hatred wherever it surfaces with a stern, unwavering and unified voice of reason. We need not tolerate such hatred and division in our country. We need not allow the planting of such a seed. We must stand shoulder to shoulder, brother to brother, Patriots all, united as one, against this evil. In Congress, I will be a resounding voice for the Thin Blue Line.
Source: 2016 Louisiana House campaign website CaptainHiggins.com Dec 10, 2016

Clay Higgins: Penitentiaries should be for PENITENCE, not punishment

The original Christian pilgrims reflected on the world's history of human incarceration and saw it as a poor reflection of their own Christian beliefs of compassion, forgiveness, and redemption. They knew that incarceration throughout history equaled one thing: A dungeon.

Our founding Christian pilgrims determined that a convicted man would be housed in a clean, secure place, treated with respect as a fellow child of God, provided basic food and water and encouraged to seek PENITENCE. This is why our jail system in America is called the PENITENTIARY SYSTEM. Our jails were never supposed to be about punishment. They were always designed to offer penitence. Because a penitent man punishes himself, does he not?

I speak across America to law enforcement gatherings, and almost NOBODY knows this story. We have strayed SO FAR from the original intent of our beautifully envisioned Penitentiary system that the Americans who manage the system don't even know of its origin.

Source: 2016 Louisiana House campaign website CaptainHiggins.com Dec 10, 2016

Foster Campbell: Death penalty yes; alternatives yes; mandatory minimums no

Q: Do you support capital punishment for certain crimes?

A: Yes

Q: Do you support alternatives to incarceration for certain non-violent offenders such as mandatory counseling or substance abuse treatment?

A: Yes

Q: Do you support mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders?

A: No

Source: VoteSmart 2016 Louisiana Senate Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2016

Thomas Clements: Unconstitutionally strict punishment isa problem

Q: Do you agree or disagree with the statement, "Stricter punishment reduces crime"?

A: Unconstitutional laws with strict punishment isa problem. Louisiana is rated #1 in the world for prisoners per capita population percentage. Legalize Marijuana: that reduces crimes.

Source: Email interview on 2016 Louisiana Senate race by OnTheIssues Jul 31, 2016

John Bel Edwards: Blue Lives Matter: targeting police officer is a hate crime

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards called for a federal civil rights investigation into the latest fatal police shooting of a black man in the United States. But [two months prior], Edwards signed a bill into law that makes targeting a police officer a hate crime. Passage of such bills at the state level is a top priority for a national organization called Blue Lives Matter, which was formed in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.

[Two Louisiana shootings were captured on video, on which] "police killed a black man who was minding his own business," says the director of ACLU-LA. But it was the civil rights of police officers that Edwards was concerned about in May, as if theirs were being routinely violated.

The new law places police officers, firefighters, and EMTs under protection from hate crimes: A defendant convicted of a felony could get an extra five years in prison with hard labor and a $5,000 fine.

Source: The Intercept interview of ACLU-Louisiana staff Jul 7, 2016

John Bel Edwards: End tax giveaways but keep funding for first responders

Edwards opposes a bill that would reduce police & fireman pay: "I will not support a reduction in the supplemental pay for the first responders who put their lives on the line everyday for our public safety," Edwards said. "We are not going to cut our way to prosperity or to safer communities."

Edwards said he's not against more flexibility in the budgeting process, but that "more flexibility alone won't fix the structural problems in our budget that have led to the sweeping of these dedicated funds by Bobby Jindal, and the drastic cuts he has made to higher education and healthcare."

As to solutions to the current budget conundrum, Edwards pointed to a recent study that examined the question of whether all of the current $7 billion in annual tax giveaways are productive for the state's economy. "It is time to invest in our people. We can start by reducing or eliminating the parts of tax giveaways that just aren't producing what they promised," said Edwards.

Source: 2015 Gubernatorial campaign website JohnBelForLouisiana.com Sep 9, 2015

David Vitter: More community crime tips; more DNA testing; more options

As our governor, David will:
Source: 2015 Louisiana Governor campaign website, DavidVitter.com Aug 11, 2015

David Vitter: Keep state police presence in New Orleans' French Quarter

Three gubernatorial candidates said the extra Louisiana State Police presence in the French Quarter should probably not remain in New Orleans "indefinitely"--and will eventually have to be withdrawn. Vitter broke with the rest of the pack, saying the Louisiana State Police should have a permanent detail in the French Quarter. He doesn't have confidence that Mayor Mitch Landrieu and the New Orleans Police Department would be able keep a lid on crime without the extra help.

"Violent crime is out of control in the city of New Orleans and the top reason is lack of leadership in the city of New Orleans," he said. Vitter went on to say New Orleans police had deteriorated and been mismanaged under Landrieu. Unless there was a leadership change in the city, the state would have to step up with extra resources. "I think his lack of leadership has let NOPD get to this point," said Vitter. "We are going to have to pick up the slack. Unfortunately, that's not going to turn a corner immediately."

Source: Times-Picayune on 2015 Louisiana gubernatorial debate Aug 8, 2015

Jay Dardenne: Let New Orleans police itself; remove state police sometime

Three of the four Louisiana gubernatorial candidates said the extra Louisiana State Police presence in the French Quarter should probably not remain in New Orleans "indefinitely"--and will eventually have to be withdrawn.

Edwards was the most emphatic about establishing a timeline for state police withdrawal. Dardenne and Angelle were a bit more speculative about when the troopers should be pulled out of New Orleans.

"I am convinced that this is the appropriate solution for now," said Dardenne. "I don't know that it is going to go on indefinitely

Still, U.S. Sen David Vitter broke with the rest of the pack, saying the Louisiana State Police should have a permanent detail in the French Quarter. He doesn't have confidence that Mayor Mitch Landrieu and the New Orleans Police Department would be able keep a lid on crime without the extra help.

Source: Times-Picayune on 2015 Louisiana gubernatorial debate Aug 8, 2015

John Bel Edwards: Let New Orleans police itself; remove state police soon

Three of the four Louisiana gubernatorial candidates said the extra Louisiana State Police presence in the French Quarter should probably not remain in New Orleans "indefinitely"--and will eventually have to be withdrawn.

"No great city is going to be great for long if it doesn't have the adequate ability to police itself," said state Rep. John Bel Edwards, the only Democratic candidate running for governor.

Edwards, Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle and Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne agreed the extra state troopers in the French Quarter are needed now. But New Orleans should probably provide the additional law enforcement itself eventually. Edwards was the most emphatic about establishing a timeline for state police withdrawal. Dardenne and Angelle were a bit more speculative about when the troopers should be pulled out of New Orleans.

Source: Times-Picayune on 2015 Louisiana gubernatorial debate Aug 8, 2015

Bobby Jindal: Crack down on the horrific crime of human sex trafficking

We're committed to working with legislators to continue to crack down on the horrific crime of human trafficking. Each year, hundreds of thousands of women and children around the world become victims of a global sex trade. Victims are forced to sell these services by means of physical abuse, threats, lies, manipulation, and false promises for things like education or a place to stay.

This isn't a crime that is just happening in some faraway place. As we've seen from investigations by Louisiana State Police recently, it's happening here in Baton Rouge and across our state.

That's why we'll propose a legislative package to prosecute criminals to the fullest extent of the law, and protect the vulnerable and often forgotten victims of these terrible crimes.

Source: 2014 State of the State address to the Louisiana legislature Mar 10, 2014

  • The above quotations are from State of Louisiana Politicians: Archives.
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2020 Presidential contenders on Crime:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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