Prosecutors dropping 91 percent of domestic violence cases

DA vs. Council On Sex Assault Cases

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - The numbers, Released during a criminal justice committee meeting, show prosecutors are dropping 91 percent of domestic violence cases in municipal court and only about 7 percent of cases are resulting in conviction.

District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro reacted to the disturbing numbers with domestic violence cases.

He isn’t disputing the numbers, but he says there’s a reason why it’s happening and it’s something he warned the council about back in February.

Cannizzaro says he warned the council back in February when they passed a resolution that restricted his office from compelling victims to testify in domestic cases.

"It has been our real-life experience that it is virtually impossible to prosecute these misdemeanor cases in municipal court absent a willing and cooperative victim and when victims and their abusers came to understand that an environment had been created by which they would never be compelled to testify, such cooperation declined steeply,” Cannizzaro said.

Council president Helena Moreno says she's shocked and concerned.

She says it’s the victims who continue to suffer and the data send a terrible message to the victims seeking help.

"NOPD has been doing the work to build strong cases, NOPD has been spending a substantial amount of manpower to make sure victims are protected but then all their work is for nothing if these cases are just being dismissed and thrown away so it’s just frustrating,” Moreno said.

Cannizzaro says his office takes these cases very seriously.

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