The Latest: Council calls for end to jailing of victims - InfoNews

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The Latest: Council calls for end to jailing of victims

February 07, 2019 - 11:14 AM

NEW ORLEANS - The Latest on a New Orleans City Council resolution calling for an end to the jailing of sexual assault or domestic violence victims who resist testifying against their suspected assailants. (all times local):

1:10 p.m.

The New Orleans City Council has unanimously approved a resolution calling for an end to the jailing of sexual assault or domestic violence victims who resist testifying against their suspected assailants.

The resolution also says the state Legislature should address the issue.

Nobody spoke against the resolution prior to Thursday's 7-0 vote. However, ahead of the meeting, New Orleans District Attorney Leon Cannizzarro's office issued a statement saying the practice is rarely used and can be crucial to jailing dangerous offenders.

Council members rejected the contention and roundly criticized Cannizzaro. Council president Jason Williams, a potential opponent for Cannizzaro in the 2020 elections, called the practice barbaric and despicable.

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7 a.m.

City Council members in New Orleans are set to discuss a resolution calling for an end to the jailing of sexual assault or domestic violence victims who resist testifying against their suspected assailants.

An independent New Orleans watchdog group, Court Watch NOLA, condemned the practice of "material witness" arrests in a report released in 2017. A representative of the organization is expected to testify at Thursday's council meeting.

District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro office says its review shows few people have been taken into custody in the last five years on material witness warrants, which can result in jail, or the threat of jail. He said the warrants are sought in court when the reluctant witness's testimony is deemed crucial to keeping dangerous offenders locked up.

News from © The Associated Press, 2019
The Associated Press

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