Metropolitan Crime Commission study is out

Newell Normand
Wednesday, September 19th
What does the Metropolitan Crime Commission study reveal about processing cases and putting criminals behind bars? We'll talk with Rafael Goyeneche, President of the Metropolitan Crime Commission.

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Good morning it was beautiful morning are. Fellow neighbors out on the east still struggle water still rising the president is visiting. North Carolina as we speak and talking to some of the officials are we continue to weird wished them the best scenario art in our thoughts. And prayer aside have family out that way and have been checking in. Intermittently with them in order to see how it's going and obviously they're free and clear where they are but they're neighbors just immediately to the east of the rumors or suffering big time and how well we know that feeling. A big weekend this weekend the saints take on the dirty birds. That's a big rivalry looking forward two that. L issues playing a lot attacked. And believed to Lane's plane as well this weekend so we got another big week and end the fried chicken festival I don't know about Cuba there's nothing better than a plate full of fried chicken. And all kinds of different sides. They have about six or seven different states will be represented there it is free its auto Wallenberg park on Saturday and Sunday think I'm going to be a judge. So I'm trying to fast this week's that I can eat as much checked in his my body will let me divine power at that point Tom and we'll see where that leads us. It's going to be ugly. In the second hour we going to be talking about it I'm sorry and a third I would talk about judge for a capital hearing whether or not is should be postponed. We'll talk to the New Orleans crime coalition they've issued their report. And in in a studio and out raw field going to achieve the head of the match halting crime commission they have jest. Release their study on. The docket of the New Orleans criminal court. The back law against all of the issues that go along with the efficiency of that court. And in studio with me is traffic going to achieve thanks so much for joining us round my pleasure to be reviewed this morning here so Telus you know from the 100000 foot level what the report reveals. Positive negative and and how that shakes. So first of all we've been doing this for about 25 years. And the premise for this is that judges just like other officials are elected. But they're probably totally scrutinized component of the criminal justice system. People generally only hear about judges when their running for re election. So we decided to take a look at. Some metrics that would measure judicial efficiency and performance and we discovered that the National Center for State Courts. Had those metrics and they often get commissioned by courts to command. And do an analysis. Of the courts efficiencies and they issue those reports to the to the court but they never see the light of day. So we elected to do is to. Copied their methodology. In the performance metrics that they have identified. And we'll issue the report publicly. So this report sort of becomes. A way of conveying to the public and to the judges it's actually used as a management tool now by many of the judges. To measure how effectively and efficiently. They are managing their dockets. So before we started doing this many of the judges over the air had no idea how big their inventory parts. So if you're. Operating a business you need to know. What you're inventories. And judges need to know their inventory of cases on the metrics that we we look at. Is the size of dockets so under the rules of court. The court has devised an allotment process that day approve of it as such fair and equal distribution of cases. So the docket sizes should be relatively the same because the workload is evenly distributed to the court so we look at docket size. We look at the age of cases the American Bar Association recommends that no cases be over a year old. Which is unrealistic when you're looking at some of the homicide cases in this a lot of homicide cases in New Orleans. And we also. Take a look at the amount of time it takes to conclude case from its in inception. So those are the three metrics that we apply. And we rate the judges. Not we have. Another court in another state war within Louisiana. We rate the judges with respect to their peers so we're not comparing him to anything other than their peers and because of the the allotment process there shouldn't be great disparity but what we found is there is great disparity in. The docket compositions. And management of certain judges. So this is I think an important tool. To inform policy makers the judges and the public about the performance. Of their their elected judges. It would seem to be the judges want to be. And want to have an evaluation of their efficiency and how they manage their docket in order to try and improve at least the forward leaning judges. Those that have confidence in their ability and understanding what their role is. Because a successful arrest is only as good as a successful prosecution. The longer these cases linger the less likely they are to be successfully prosecuted right. Well there's also other implications so the longer these cases go on. The more costs are associated. With keeping somebody in custody. You know I'm glad you brought that up is is they're not a difference in in custody cases as opposed to out on bond cases that it would seem to me that there would be. More of it. A reason to expedite the in custody cases. We talk about and we've heard. Groups talking about that. Weird jailing people and the only reason they're in jails because the airport I don't necessarily. Buy into all of that but I understand. What they're talking about it that there should be heightened. You know approach and more efficient approach in dealing winning custody case. Well absolutely. So the of the judge is set are the most efficient. Are prioritizing. There GO cases and their older cases. So they recognize that those older cases. Need to be. You know presided over injustice needs to be administered and longer case goes on the greater the cost. And the more problems that are causes not just for the prosecution. But for the defense the victims or witnesses and all the players in the criminal justice system. So this is there not only is justice being delayed in certain instances. The cost of the taxpayers is being increased and the that the hammer is in and the other the wounds either victims or unjustly. Charged. Offenders are are being adversely affected by block of the allotment if you go to a judge. That has an enormous backlog of cases it may take you. Four times as long for your case to be resolved and if you are lucky enough to be allotted two to one of the more efficient charged us. You used the word great differences between the bottom in the tighten. You know in the top. Assays you to. You know because in 2017. 47%. Of judge Durbin these cases were greater than a year. Whereas judge civil Chu was the highest performing judge on the court 13%. Right and Leoni had 92 cases. Royal forties I felt old man he only had 92 open case eyes and in that that was the next point has been taken George Durban he has 542. Case just I mean cases and this is or this is purely to me having worked in the backcourt when I started my career and is not a whole lot that change change quite frankly. Same number of judges. Same magistrate court system. Actually it's two more judges than when you were there is right you're right your eyes twelfth that goes to tenth mountain. Yeah you're right here you may be area. So there's now a twelve there's more judges. And but you have a differential of 92 doping cases verses 542. Places exactly I mean that is. 542. Is the byproduct and not working. But the court not being in in session working these cases move and it through eight hours a day every day grinding it out. Plain and simple I mean. You know I I we just talked draw off line before we came on the air and I mentioned two of the judges that would move a docket faster than anybody. That I had ever seen. And you laugh because you you worked there you know when you said absolutely those two judges. That they grind it out. Yet there they established a culture and his successful judges human nature. Is to avoid the difficult things. So the successful judge that is efficiently managing their docket. Is establishing the culture and an expectation not just on prosecutors but on the defenses well all the parties involved it's the interest of justice. For it to be administered. In an expeditious manner. While guaranteeing. Everybody's rights. So. When I was a young ABA and and I first appeared in section GA before judge dozer. He recognized me as someone he had never seen before and he called me up and said you know your unit of the DA's office and said yes your honor and he said like to tell you the way that I operate mark court each side gets to continuance is no questions asked if there's a third continuance. You better be in the hospital otherwise that deputy over the years gonna come. Looking for and bring you here to answer. I got the message and that's the message that the successful judges may be these different language. But they have establish control of their courts and what the expectations are losses at the DA sets the docket. But the judge can determine what is a fair way to set the dock. Well adjusted to highlight my point. The least efficient judge judge curb acne has 203. K more open cases than the second least. Efficient judge. And that judge. Has only a differential of 45 cases from the third league so the that there's one significant. Al liar here. That obviously. Doesn't have skills as it relates to managing a doctor. I mean the empirical data it doesn't care body motion doesn't care about their feelings don't care about any of that. I mean it's just so far and out liar it's ridiculous. Right. Judge derby any just his cases that are opened greater than one year. He has 256. Cases that are over year old. That is greater than the average case won't load for seven of the twelve judges. So that I think puts in perspective that he has us. A lot of catching up to do. And I think he needs to be you know public needs to realize what's happening in his section. Court we're gonna take a break we're raping going catchy head of the metropolitan crime commission we're talking about the criminal court back law gathered the match their ability to manage their docket and what that means to you as it relates to your safety on the street and we'll talk more about that when we return. We will hear from you 260187. Near Texas at 87870. This is rule and every Dario. We're back door talking to Rafael groin etching of the metropolitan crime commission and this report that day. Issued annually actually looking at the criminal district court and there are efficiencies. One of the things that often goes unsaid is that this is not just about the safety and security of the public at large as it relates to the efficiency of this court system. In many respects this is all about the defendant in that defendant's right to a speedy trial and when we look at the administration of justice and we CD wide disparity. Here. As a rook has a relates to how these cases are are ultimately resolved and go on resolved. That is something that I've often wonder why. To Louisiana Supreme Court doesn't compel these courts that collect. Monies to fund their criminal court operating bond. Two to pay all kinds of different expenses that they don't mandate that there's somebody do these studies are they they can on. No and have a better understanding of where they are as it relates to their peers across the country. I'm agree. If if we're gonna wait for the Supreme Court to fund that make that happen I think we're gonna be weight now time but they've been doing this for 25 years and they've never step today have supervisory jurisdiction over this issue. Right right and why they failed to exercise that jurisdiction is beyond me it would seem to me. That if there are concerned. About the the fair administration of justice. That this would be a shock the conscience moment for them when they see the disparity that's that's presented here. Albeit the overall report. Is a good report for the court as a whole but the problem is it's on the back of about five or six judges. And that are isn't it. You know and some in the bottom here that have improved and continued to improve. Others that have reached common. A rational and a plateau that there probably is not a lot of improvement that can occur. And as high performing courts but the other 13. Of those courts that are on a dragon on something needs to be done why they should all be. At the median. Well obviously. You know not everyone is gonna have the same over the is going to be some personality in first place and someone in and last. But the differentials wouldn't be the right I agree and that's that that's the media this this coconut so this isn't about. Who's number one and number two. It's what the median or average is and the separation between the bottom of the court and the average stats with this is really about. And as you point out and the point that's made in in this report is. There shouldn't be the great disparity. Between the dockets of of these judges because the system that they implemented for their court. Is supposed to evenly distribute the work let's of these metrics basically identify the judges that are managing their dockets appropriately. And the ones that are not pitching. It's in the end this is all about productivity yes plain and simple we'll continue this conversation when we return gives the call 2601878. 87870. Were talking about criminal court when we return. I would love to hear from you guys to 60187 or Texas 17870. What do you think do you think you know that that there should be somebody looking at this and on the blue runner opinion poll should judges and case management be reviewed annually by the Louisiana. Supreme Court. 76% of the respondents say yes. So we're happy I'm you know I'm not unlike every other report that's issued is. Always some detractors to that report so tell us about what some of the detractors that. Well. Some of the Chara actors are criticisms. Say that. The judges at the bottom. Are are doing a good job and he can't just measure. The judges by now how efficiently their moving their dockets. Implying that. Some of the judges that are moving their docket sufficiently may be violating the rights of the people appearing before them so. I've heard those arguments for 25 years because we've been doing this for 25 years. And those arguments don't hold water I said you know show me where a defense attorney has filed. A motion and taken a written on a judge at the top of our report. That is accused of violating. Their client's rights by moving a case. Expeditious and that it's systematic. A year over year over year in examining the U getting these appeals. Or Ritz taken to the court saying that they're that they're not impartial they're not fair and that the process of the court is is it. Generally the judges at the top are gonna have the least numbers of reports filed against you know because they're on top of along the same. Dedication. That you see in docket management. Permeates every part of what they do they say. You don't get the numbers that some of these judges have achieved by getting to work late and leaving early. And the same can be said for the ones at the bottom of the reported this is not an attack on their judicial intellect and it may just be that they're not good managers endorsed two words of the doctor. Which is an entirely different mindset than than understanding the law and things of that nature. Is more scheduling. Utilizing your support staff more appropriately more efficiently in order to move the cases through the system. Exactly exactly the other criticism that we get from time to time is that. Some people sales some of the judges at the bottom of our ranking operates specialty courts decent and I concede that. But several of the judges at the top of our rankings also operates specialty courts and it doesn't. Exclude or. It influenced their ability to manage their dockets in an effective and and efficient manner well that's what's. Me and use once again an opportunity for the criminal court operating fund if there it if you need to get an appointment from the us from the Supreme Court to. He handled the specialty coordinate this is the by product of handling specialty court those at the bottom. Then maybe you need to reevaluate. How that is functioning and. Specialty courts are optional for judges it's voluntary for them to do that and but what they're elected to do is to. Adjudicate cases and manage their docket so if the specialty courts are becoming too demanding for some of the judges to handle. Their responsibility. Is to their docket so maybe as you point out they should resign from their specialty court assignments. One of the other things and in an election to talk about case mix and then lead into this. And we got to get to a break but awards set it up. Where the public really needs to be concerned of the in custody cases. Because they've already said in there's been any number of studies that say that there's not really a strong appetite for increased thing. Jail that's the number jail that so you have to effectively manage. That very carefully you gotta. Make sure that your putting the impact criminal in there. As much as possible and that begs. A very efficient judicial system because you'll turn a jail population over 789 times a year. In the more that you can turn it over by processing those jail case is the more that you can selectively incapacitate the. Pack crumble and drive crow crime down. So you don't work in a vacuum. And it often times. The court think looses sight. Of that fact. That at their point and time along the timeline they can very much influence. The backlog. In the jail absolutely and the overcrowding. In the jail. And you know everybody all of the silos here have to work in concert with one another in order date to you have an overall. Efficient system because it's not just. Worth your while I have one sector of it right. Efficient and all the others in a position right exactly we'll talk about that we're talking about we'll talk about the case mix that can help drive this to when we return. We have Raphael going and that she had in the metropolitan crime commission jaundice and we'll. Grab some calls as well we'll be right back after the break. This is fuel and graphic going to actually on WWL. When the blue roller opinion polls should judge's case management be reviewed annually by the Louisiana Supreme Court 83%. Of the respondents say yes let's settle on one talk to Lyndon loans these. What say you Linda. What are. You sure. Think that that I'll come. I'm going to bank and it can't bike to wait rockets that. Everyday. I'm happy which wrapped in light. Like. Get re and ended. Up but it against all of the candidate that (%expletive) and sit there at Tulane who brought. And Graham and bribe you CNET. No I haven't but I'm glad that they've been able to you said they were mediated that they fixed it. It with didn't really act can't. A traffic light. Carol great that's great news thanks so much for pollen and Linda appreciate it. So rapidly when we talk about the case mixed tell us about you know that the case matier. Well you know to put. The the numbers. In the metrics in some perspective you have to look at docket composition. So normally. Violent offenses and and gun offenses may be 20%. Of the court's docket. In Orleans parish. Your look in that 59%. So that. Makes it even more remarkable for some of the numbers that you are seeing here now this court's a little bit different than say Jefferson Parish. Because the judges in Jefferson Parish have civil and criminal dockets. This court justice criminal docket so civil district court handles civil cases but still. That is it has to be the toughest docket composition in the state of Louisiana. Which makes the achievements of the court as a whole I think even more impressive. Because those are the toughest cases the violence felonies and the weapons felonies. Are the toughest cases to resolve they take the longest amount of time. Just because those cases generally are not resolved. Early on in the process because of the exposure for for jail time involved and that. So those cases can only be resolved if the cases are put him and into a trial posture. And much of the court is getting those cases into a trial roster expeditiously. Which allows them to attuned to conclude their cases. The judges that have the large dockets. Are the are competing for docket time because they have so many cases takes them longer to get them into a trial posture. Which prevents them from achieving some of the better numbers so. It's really boils down to management but the dockets are these courts are what is remarkable to me. When you see the composition and being primary overwhelmingly. Violent felonies or weapons. It's nothing more than a reflection of the challenges of that community at large absolutely and it shows that police and prosecutors. Are identifying and targeting the worst of the worst impact crumble yet you know the score line one Larry in a veto what say you learn. Sure there were partly ago and now. Abu that are many many many go McCaw court in fact there. Waiting for a start it was in the pocket scheduled for particular car. And fifteen point thirty minutes. Scheduled start it comes along from the defended people management you're. Trying to. I have an article or. And I think a lot of times that the law is there either one prepared and probably do Oden on the other buildings that are actual shall open it. But not always the judge did you she will. No matter what yeah I expect I. I get what you're saying but the fact of the matter is is said that lawyer knew well in advance so that day that he or she had a conflict. And it's incumbent upon them to notified both courts of the conflict. And let that be worked out in its the pro active judges that that. Sat down the law and say this is what's expected to view and I'm not willing to accept anything less. Those are the ones and able to to drive through those types of issues. I've seen examples where you the prosecutor defense counsels or late arriving in court. And the judge will stop the proceedings and say you know your subpoena said court starts at 830. You weren't here. You've wasted the court's time you're gonna go sit and wait. And the court will decide when I'm going to relieve issue and when your case shall be called which you have disrespect to the that's the type of culture. That the efficient judges sent. And you only have to do that once. And the word that gets out to all the parties. You know what about favorite judges was judge Dennis Walter and then maybe Oceanside. But he would take it you know the subpoena said a thirty he'd walked into court at 830 on on the nose he he. Takes the bench. Andy in he would say for the record he set out what the record to reflect the judge Walter and his take in the back bench at 830. I'd like their record to also reflect. None of the lawyers that are supposed to be here at this point in time to handle the following cases are present. At he would die keep Mitt and if they're not that you knew who of his work ethic is well I mean he. Here you actually get we've got several tax spring joins wandered back and you'll you'll you'll knock at the stock market down and in no time at all all right right. We got to take a break it was a call 260187. Or Texas sedate 7870. Were talker would Raphael Gordon has cheapened the metropolitan crime commission about a recent report. Dealing with the court backlog good news and bad you know and some not so good news in the report but overall positive and that's a good thing for the court we'll be right back. On attacks line judge Walter and actually started court promptly at 8 AM every day and ID thirty ousting corrected I'm getting old while members not like it used to be a wonderful man but not if you were late. Refuge final. Thoughts. Well I think the the court deserves to be commended. For managing. By and a large. Their responsibilities. In a very effective and efficient manner. But I still think that there are a few judges at ten of the twelve judges can manage their dockets responsibly and effectively. There's no reason at all twelfth can't. So will continue to name the judges that aren't doing their job but the good news to the public is. The overwhelming majority the court is doing an outstanding job I think. The highlight of this is. Not necessarily. The the details of the report itself is the willingness of a number of charges on our court to look at the report. And modify what they've done in order to get to. You know what's the accepted a matrix. Nationally. Absolutely. I think there's a pride in in in doing your job well and they realize that this. Indicates it they're doing their jobs well and is set to better myself will be right back thank you so much.