Fact: There are at least 175 inmates serving life without parole (LWOP) for nonviolent crimes in Louisiana. This includes:
- Vincent Cushinello, who is serving LWOP for slashing tires in 2001;
- Anthony Kelly, sentenced to LWOP for possession of 32 grams of marijuana with intent to distribute in 1999, at age 25;
- Fate Vincent Winslow, sentenced to LWOP for acting as a go-between in the sale of two small bags of marijuana, worth $10 in total, to an undercover police officer when he was homeless.
Fact: The 175 inmates will cost the taxpayers of Louisiana nearly $100 million over the span of their incarceration.
Source: Three Recommendations for Sentencing Reform in Louisiana; Reason Foundation
Fact: In Wisconsin, more than 11,000 poor people go to court without representation annually. Anyone who makes more than $3,000 per year is considered able to afford a lawyer.
Fact: In Lake Charles, Louisiana, the public defender’s office has two investigators for the 2,500+ felony cases assigned to the office annually.
Source: The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander
Fact: In St. Louis County, public defenders routinely handle more than 200 felony cases per year, including murder and rape cases. Because of the overload, about 4,000 juveniles are sentenced without representation annually.
Fact: At times, St. Louis County public defenders represent clients in 10 different cases simultaneously.
Source: The New York Times, Public Defenders, Bolstered by a Work Analysis and Rulings, Push Back Against a Tide of Cases