A Number to Ponder



In 2006, it became apparent that in the post-Katrina world the New Orleans District Attorney’s office, under the direction of Eddie Jordan, was falling off the tracks. One of the ongoing problems was the so-called “701 releases” in which jailed suspects were released from incarceration because the DA hadn’t formerly accepted charges within 60 days of a suspect’s arrest. Even if later on the DA’s office screened a particular case and accepted charges, police would still have to locate the accused person and re-arrest them.

Although Dalton Savwoir, a spokesman for the DA’s office says that 701 release records weren’t kept for 2006, several news agencies — local, national and international — reported that there were as many as 3,000 such releases in 2006. Savwoir says his office diligently cooperated with the NOPD to curtail the 701s in 2007, but this past year began with 580 releases in January ’07.

Richard Jackson was given a 701 release for an assault arrest in September of this year. As reported in the Gambit Weekly article, “Traffic Fatality,” Jackson was accused of fatally beating Oscar Fuselier in an Orleans Parish Prison holding cell.

Find out more about the status of the Oscar Fuselier case and what the most recent numbers are for 701 releases in Orleans Parish in the upcoming Gambit Weekly article, “Justice for Oscar Fuselier?”

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