Tuesday, January 27, 2015
The Advocate newspaper presented a most troubling article this weekend concerning people who had been arrested and jailed in East Baton Rouge for months without ever being charged with a crime.
Research by the Advocate found that 19 inmates had been arrested in the last two years and held without charges for as long as six months. That's considerably longer than the limit that Louisiana law allows, and the limit in Louisiana is already longer than what's allowed in many other states.
The last thing we want is for criminals to be out on the streets, but it's a most basic principle of our Constitution that people cannot be held in jail without facing legitimate charges of some kind.
In responding to questions posed by the Advocate's reporters, the district attorney and other government officials did not seem to have very good reasons for violating these people's Constitutional rights. We urge them to work together to make sure that no person's rights are trampled like this again in the future.