Pipkins v. StewartAbusive Policies
Caddo Parish, Louisiana has a long history of racial discrimination in the criminal justice system. One of the main components of this institutionalized injustice is the custom, policy and usage of the District Attorney’s Office to exercise peremptory challenges against African-American citizens because of their race, in order to empanel criminal trial juries that are predominantly white.
The MacArthur Justice Center filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of Black citizens of Caddo Parish who either had been barred from jury service by peremptory challenges in the year before the suit, or face future discrimination. We are seeking damages from the District Attorney’s Office for violating the rights of these citizens and an injunction prohibiting future discrimination.
Because of the importance of peremptory challenges in the criminal justice system, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry was allowed to join the case on the side of the District Attorney. Both the District Attorney and the Attorney General have moved to dismiss the case. Those motions have been argued; we are waiting for rulings from District Judge Dee Drell in Alexandria.
Filed - November 19, 2015