Here at the ACLU of Louisiana, we’re in court — a lot. In fact, right now we have 10 cases pending in the courts. We’re challenging the unconstitutional racial profiling and detention of a U.S. citizen, battling the Trump administration’s denial of parole to asylum seekers, and suing for the locations of New Orleans’ intrusive surveillance cameras.
Many of our cases involve the criminal justice system, where we work to challenge unjust laws and defend the rights of incarcerated people across the state. These are years-long battles, so we wanted to make sure you had the latest on some of our important cases that are working their way through the courts:
Insufficient Medical Care at Angola (Lewis v. Cain): Our class action lawsuit with the Promise of Justice Initiative, the law firm Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, and the Advocacy Center challenging the unconstitutionally deficient medical care at Angola went to trial last year, and we’re currently awaiting a ruling. Scores of men have already experienced unnecessary injury, suffering, and death, and we’ll keep fighting to bring the prison in line with constitutional standards of care.
Pretrial Racketeering (Ayo v. Dunn): For years, people awaiting trial before a criminal court in East Baton Rouge were coerced into paying hundreds of dollars to a private company before they were released from jail. We’re suing alongside our partners at SPLC to restore due process rights and stop this blatant extortion scheme.
Inhumane Conditions at David Wade Correctional Center (Tellis v. LeBlanc): Solitary confinement is a brutal and barbaric practice that inflicts permanent harm on those who experience it. That’s why we’re suing David Wade Correctional Center for subjecting the people incarcerated there to cruel, debilitating conditions – with hundreds of prisoners being housed in “extended lockdown” cells for months on end.
- District Attorney Cannizzaro’s Fake Subpoenas (Singleton v. Cannizzaro): District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro used fake subpoenas and intimidation to illegally coerce and wrongly jail victims and witnesses of crime. In March, a federal judge denied Cannizzaro's request to dismiss the case, allowing our case --- filed with the ACLU Trone Center for Justice and Equality and Civil Rights Corps --- to proceed.
These cases seek to restore the fundamental rights of people caught up in the criminal justice system – and they wouldn’t be possible without the support of ACLU members and supporters. We'll continue the fight to put people before prisons.