DSA New Orleans 2020 Dec 5 Runoff

Voter Guide

Criminal District Court Section K

Formerly incarcerated persons group Voters Organized to Educate has endorsed Marcus DeLarge for his statements recognizing incarceration as a form of slavery and the need to eliminate racial disparities in the incarceration system. DeLarge’s experience as a criminal defense attorney includes years with John T. Fuller & Associates as well as his independent practice at DeLarge Law, LLC. He has endorsements from former opponent Diedre Kelly, Forum for Equality, OPDEC, IDEA, the Independent Women’s Organization, and US Representative Cedric Richmond. The establishment support is in line with DeLarge’s moderate stance on bail reform, where he says more people accused of nonviolent offenses should be released. He worked briefly at the Orleans District Attorney’s office, his brother is an NOPD lieutenant, and much of the rest of his family has been in public service in New Orleans. Prior to his defense practice, he was a teacher, coach, and athletic director at his alma mater, St. Augustine.

Stephanie Bridges continues to confirm her lack of criminal law experience, admitting that “most of her trials have been judge trials [and she has] never settled a criminal case,” even though felony trials are jury trials by default, and though almost every criminal case pleads, none of them ever “settles.” One novel campaign idea is to hold a Saturday court session once a month, but none of us actually believes that sitting in court for two more hours a month will do anything to improve people’s lives. Bridges lists herself as President of The New Orleans Council for Community and Justice, and as a zealous advocate for youth justice for over 30 years. The organization’s website says it does training and workshops to fight bias, bigotry, and racism. Her campaign hasn’t made clear what relationship her work has to criminal courts, but her relatively vapid pitch for judgeship nevertheless has the support of LaToya Cantrell and Action New Orleans, BOLD, Karen Carter Peterson, and Kristin Palmer. Bridges personally filed for bankruptcy after going into debt to cover what she says were her nonprofit’s expenses, but Gentilly Messenger reports that those debts came from Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, and Victoria’s Secret.