Earlier this week, two criminals carjacked New Orleans’ Soros-backed district attorney, Jason Williams, as he walked his 78-year-old mother to his SUV.
Fortunately, both Williams and his mother are OK—aside from having guns shoved in their faces and being forcibly removed from their vehicle. But both experienced fear and other consequences resulting from Williams’ soft-on-crime prosecution policies.
When Williams, a career criminal-defense lawyer, first campaigned in 2020 to be New Orleans’ district attorney (after a stint on the City Council), the Democrat pledged to be “more selective about prosecutions” and to end his predecessor’s tough-on-crime approach.
Williams had the benefit of a $220,000 contribution from left-wing financier George Soros to the Louisiana Justice and Public Safety PAC. New Orleans’ hometown news site described his planned policies this way:
Williams has said he will end the use of Louisiana’s stringent habitual offender laws, never transfer juveniles to adult court and become much pickier about accepting cases for prosecution. Underscoring his fresh approach, his massive transition team included liberal policy advocates and former colleagues in the defense bar.
If this sounds familiar, it’s because it is. These are the same promises and policies promoted by other Soros-backed rogue district attorneys around the country—and they produced the same dismal results.
In 2019, New Orleans experienced a 48-year low in homicides, logging119. The numbers started trending up in 2020, then exploded after Williams’ first year in office.
At the end of 2021, 218 people had been killed in New Orleans, which at that point was the most in 17 years.
The city ended 2022 with 280 murders. And it earned the dubious distinction of being “America’s murder capital”—snatching the title away from St. Louis, where a fellow Soros-backed DA, Kim Gardner, was the top prosecutor until she resigned June 1.
Sadly, New Orleans already has logged 162 murders so far this year.
Of course, carjackings skyrocketed, too. The number of carjackings is still high, but coming down after Williams—under pressure from residents of his crime-ridden city—reversed course on some of the most radical aspects of his policies.
But the Democrat’s prosecution rate must improve, too. Like many other rogue prosecutors, he claims he is prosecuting fewer cases, such as misdemeanors, so that he can focus on the most serious ones.
Still, the overall declination rate is shocking. As the New Orleans Metropolitan Crime Commission reported, during most of his first year in office, Williams prosecuted only a little over half of the felony cases presented to him. The year before he took office, his predecessor had prosecuted 75% of all cases presented to the office.
And more troublingly, according to this same report in late 2021, the conviction rate fell to 21% on Williams’ watch. The year before he took office, his predecessor obtained a 52% conviction rate.
Things don’t look much better today. During the first quarter of the year, Williams’ office still refused to prosecute about 45% of the violent felony cases presented to him. Of the 55% of violent felony cases that he did prosecute, only 7% resulted in a guilty verdict on the original charge.
Williams dismissed 29% of these violent felony cases, reduced 27% to a lesser felony, and reduced 36% to a misdemeanor charge.
His office also made several high-profile mistakes early in the year. Two of them: missing the deadline to file charges against juvenile carjackers and dismissing 15 cases of illegal gun possession in exchange for the suspect’s forfeiting the weapon.
Will Williams’ tune change now that he has experienced the violence and fear that so many others in his community have experienced?
We can only hope so.
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The post New Orleans DA Reaps Consequences of His Own Radical Policies appeared first on The Daily Signal.
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