SHREVEPORT, La. -- Caddo Parish and its First Judicial District are a leader in criminal jury trials, data released by the Louisiana Supreme Court shows.
Louisiana Supreme Court reports show Caddo second only behind Jefferson Parish and ahead of Orleans and East Baton Rouge parishes in jury trials the last three years. Caddo led the state in jury trials per 10,000 population, with 4.71 trials per capita. Yet the other parishes are substantially ahead of Caddo in terms of both population and the number of judges handling criminal cases.
Caddo Parish, with a population of just under 238,000, conducted 112 jury trials from 2020 to 2022, with only five criminal court judges. Jefferson Parish, the 24th Judicial District, with a population of just under 441,000, conducted 136 jury trials in that period, with 16 criminal court judges.
East Baton Rouge Parish, the 19th Judicial District, with a population of just under 457,000 people, conducted 47 jury trials with nine criminal court judges. Orleans Parish, with just under 384,000 people, conducted 86 jury trials with 14 criminal court judges.
In adjacent judicial districts, the numbers show:
- In the 26th Judicial District, comprising Bossier and Webster parishes, there were 22 criminal jury trials in the 2020 to 2022 period, with a served population of 165,713.
- In the 39th Judicial District, Red River Parish, with a population of 7,620, there was one criminal jury trial.
- In the 42nd Judicial District, DeSoto Parish, with a population of 26,812, there were 13 criminal jury trials.
Representative regional judicial districts showed similar numbers:
- Rapides Parish, the 9th Judicial District, with 130,000 people, conducted 28 criminal jury trials over the three years.
- Morehouse and Ouachita parishes, which comprise the 4th Judicial District and a combined population of just under 186,000 people, conducted 22 criminal jury trials in that time.
Other judicial districts with populations over 200,000 also lagged behind Caddo Parish:
- Calcasieu Parish, the 14th Judicial District and a population of just under 217,000, conducted 30 criminal jury trials from 2020 to 2022.
- Acadia, Lafayette and Vermilion parishes, making up the 15th Judicial District with a combined population of just under 357,000, conducted 39 criminal jury trials in that time.
- Livingston, St. Helena and Tangipahoa parishes, the 21st Judicial District with just over 286,000 people, conducted 40 criminal jury trials from 2020 to 2022.
- St. Tammany and Washington parishes, 310,000 people together as the 22nd Judicial District, conducted 65 criminal jury trials.
District Attorney James E. Stewart Sr. plans to maintain the pace.
"I want to thank my prosecutors, support staff, our Caddo Parish judges and court staff, law enforcement officers and the citizens of Caddo Parish who serve for our outstanding jury trial numbers," says Stewart, a retired judge. "It is a truly collaborative effort of sacrifice and simple hard work to ensure that justice and closure is found for victims of crime in Caddo Parish."
The reports can be viewed at Supreme Court of Louisiana 2022 annual report and Guide to Louisiana Courts.