Dear D.A. Cannizzaro 2
Here’s another very important factor influencing the length of time many cases remain open that remains far outside a Judge’s control.
When you first came into office, you doubled the length of time from one year to two years for many crimes. You also opened the doors of Diversion to many non-drug crimes. What are the results of these changes in times and types? Cases remain open for much longer, and the program has tripled under your leadership.
As the program has expanded, the counselors have taken on more and more cases, slowly becoming ‘caretakers’, and less like counselors. They can only manage the most at-risk cases, everyone else is not a priority; this greatly effects the Diversion drop out rate.
Over the course of six months or more in Diversion, many outside factors also weigh on these cases, and many individuals are bounced back into Criminal Court. When a Judge realizes he’s got a twelve plus month old case on his hands, he orders a trial very fast, wasting a Jury, our most valuable resource.
After six or twelve months or more in Diversion, the system has invested in the defendant, and the reason he/she was thrown out is often a minor one that might be fixed before a trial is ordered, minimizing the expenditure of new resources.
Poor A.D.A.s pursuing eminently losing cases and the doubling the length of Diversion time for many cases conspire to waste a lot more of our Judges and juries time.
Judges have nothing to do but deal with the lengthening of cases beyond their purview. That’s why we love our Judges, they put up with all these factors beyond their control and still have to rule like Solomon daily.
Thanks for all you do for our great Crescent City,