NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Orleans D.A. Jason Williams just announced some key positions to lead prosecutions in Orleans Parish. He also unveiled a new approach when it comes to dealing with civil rights.
“It is not the job of nonprofits working for salaries or pennies to fix the problems of government, it’s the job of government not to cause harm to the community and not to send innocent men and women away to jail. It’s about making sure they had a fair trial,” said Williams.
In his first news conference since being sworn in three days ago, Williams announced the formation of a new civil rights division and tapped Emily Maw from the Innocence Project to head it.
“In my many years with the innocence Project we have free scores of men that were sent away to prison for the rest of their lives after trials that were done in a matter of hours all of them were innocent and the overwhelming majority were young black men,” said Maw.
Williams has also tapped Plaquemines Parish First Assistant D.A. to be his first assistant, where he will supervise more than 120 prosecutors, investigators and counselors.
“Bob is smart he is measured and he is uniformly respected throughout the criminal legal system,” said Williams.
“The US Supreme Court says it’s the job of the prosecution to bring justice and not necessarily convictions and we will endeavor to do just that,” said White.
White led the public corruption division under former Orleans Da Eddie Jordan, when the Danziger seven case was thrown out of Orleans criminal court.
“Bob White headed up public corruption at that time, he was not the DA at that time,” said Williams.
That case was ultimately prosecuted in federal court. Williams also announced that former City Hall spokesman and greater New Orleans foundation vice president Tyronne Walker would serve as his chief administrative officer.
“My commitment is to work with you and to deliver excellence and the change people want to see,” said Walker.
The new DA also called for tougher prosecution of domestic violence cases which he says are often at the root of many of the cities problems.
Newly appointed first assistant Bob White currently lives in Plaquemines Parish where he serves as first assistant there. Williams says White plans to move to New Orleans. He also said he is considering hiring his law partner Nicole Burdette in a full-time capacity. She is currently working on his transition team and is also Williams’ co-defendant in a federal tax case.
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