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Leaders seek to end multiple bonds for repeat offenders, collaborating on a fix

10 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago Wednesday, January 12 2022 Jan 12, 2022 January 12, 2022 5:00 AM January 12, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - Meetings are underway with key stakeholders tied to a problem the WBRZ Investigative Unit has been highlighting for over a year.

It involves offenders who are out on bond who get arrested again and issued additional bonds. Typically, part of bond conditions include a requirement that the defendant remains crime-free.

In multiple cases exposed by the WBRZ Investigative Unit, we showed you where some offenders were out on three different bonds.

Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul spoke with our news partner, Brian Haldane, with Talk 107.3 Tuesday.

"We sat down with the judges and had a productive meeting in the 19th JDC," Paul said. "We got some takeaways there, some things we can do better to make sure there is accountability and so all the appropriate information is provided to the judges in a decision-making process... So those are some of the feedback I received."

With more information at the judge's fingertips, the suspect's bad histories will be factored into any additional bonds that are set. However, those involved believe it does not fall on just one group.

"It's the system, and we all have to do better," Paul said. "We are part of that system. The district attorney is one part of the system. The judges are one part of the system and so many other people who have a responsibility in the criminal justice system. I think we can all agree, and there's room for improvement in those areas. And we are having those conversations."

Meetings were held Tuesday with juvenile judges involving this same issue. Currently, there is a 200-case backlog in the Baton Rouge courts with suspects waiting for their cases to be heard because of COVID shutdowns.

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