September has been a busy month for Court Watch NOLA. Among the many changes, attorney Veronica Lam was hired for the newly created position of Program Coordinator. Veronica has worked and volunteered in prosecutorial, defense, and nonprofit offices across the U.S. before joining the CWN family. As Program Coordinator, Veronica is responsible for the day-to-day operations of CWN and is also involved in development efforts. You can find Veronica’s contact information on the “Staff” page, or by clicking here: http://www.courtwatchnola.org/staff/.
Do you use Amazon.com to make online purchases? AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Court Watch NOLA! Simply sign into your account through https://smile.amazon.com/ch/33-1190644, and you can support us every time you make a purchase!
Court Watch NOLA hired a new executive director in August 2015. Simone Levine is a lawyer who has served as both a prosecutor and a public defender before coming to Court Watch NOLA. She came to Court Watch NOLA right after serving as the Deputy Police Monitor of New Orleans in the Office of the Independent Police Monitor. Simone worked in the Office of the Independent Police Monitor for over four years before coming to Court Watch NOLA.
Friends and Supporters,
Over 100 Court Watch NOLA volunteers observed over 1000 mornings of court last year, showing our public servants and elected officials that New Orleanians from all walks of life want an accountable, efficient and respectful criminal justice system. Their observations led to two groundbreaking reports, which showed that while Criminal District Court is becoming more efficient, it needs to provide better customer service to the hundreds of New Orleanians – including jurors, witnesses, defendants, victims and families – who walk through its doors each day.
On this Tuesday, May 5, GiveNOLA Day, please consider supporting our volunteers’ efforts by making a 100% tax-deductible contribution to Court Watch NOLA. Even $25 will help us forcefully advocate for criminal justice reform. You can maximize your support using this link from 12:01 a.m. to midnight on May 5, when all donations will be eligible for a percentage match. You can also make a secure, tax-deductible contribution anytime using the “Donate” button on the right.
In the meantime, read our Spring Newsletter to find out more about the critical work Court Watch NOLA volunteers are doing this Spring, including our Volunteer of the Month and Observation of the Month. And thank you as always for your friendship and support,
Court Watch NOLA welcomed Sheriff Marlin Gusman to our community volunteer meeting today. Sheriff Gusman discussed the new jail facility, how to make the criminal courthouse even more secure, and the importance of re-entry programs that help soon-to-be-released incarcerated persons successfully transition to civilian life. Our thanks to Sheriff Gusman and his deputies for their time and dedication.
By Eugene B. Kordahl
Why Visit Courtroom 600?
Why would a Court Watcher be interested in visiting the famous Nuremberg Palace of Justice’s courtroom 600? Because it was here that, after World War II ended, Nazi war criminals were brought to justice in dramatic trials held by Allied military tribunals.
13 major trials of alleged war criminals were held in courtroom 600 between November 20, 1945 and October 1, 1949, and had we at Court Watch NOLA been around at the time, our eyes and ears would have been full of untold astounding facts, exhibits, and statements. Continue reading
The New York Times recently cited New Orleans (under a previous D.A.) as “among the worst” when it comes to prosecutors refusing to share case evidence with defendants. And the news that the trial of Trung Le, who is accused of the 2014 Bourbon Street shooting, will be delayed because the state won’t share its witness list with Mr. Le’s attorney shows that this debate continues. Continue reading
Court Watch NOLA celebrated our amazing community volunteers last night with a skyline view, a four-foot poboy, and a party! Our community volunteers observed 435 days of court in 2014, more than a 10% increase over 2013. So thank you to our volunteers for their hard work, and to our Board of Directors for throwing a great party!
Congratulations to Judge Byron Williams, Criminal District Court Section G, who took the bench for the first time this morning. As the newest CDC Judge, he’ll be presiding over one of the attic courtrooms (with Sections A, F, and L also playing a game of musical chairs). Judge Williams was apparently eager to get started, beginning Court this morning at 8:15 on the dot. Continue reading