I knew this powder keg was going to explode soon. It’s not been a secret, just something nobody wanted to talk about. Hurricane Katrina destroyed massive amounts of paperwork, evidence, laboratory work needed for thousands of pending criminal cases. Additionally, thousands of displaced crime victims and witnesses won't be returning to New Orleans to testify in court.
Another huge problem is that a large percentage of the members the New Orleans legal community suffered the total loss of their offices, homes and most important, paying clientele. Many of these lawyers had to retire, change careers or move elsewhere.
If all that was not enough, the bankrupt local government simply does not have the funds to provide defendants needed lawyers handle the cases including those that came after the Hurricane.
The result of this mess is thousands of dangerous criminals must be released from custody as speedy trial and right to counsel issues force the courts to dismiss the cases. Shortly as many as 4000 prisoners including, killers, rapists, robbers, burglars and child molsters will be let out to roam the streets.
This could not come at a worse time since only a few months ago New Orleans police aided by out-of-state officers such as the California Highway Patrol went house to house and unlawfully confiscated thousands of law-abiding resident's firearms at gunpoint. Despite court orders few if any of the guns were found or returned to their owners. Now the victimized people of New Orleans will have to deal with the worst predators without their firearms.