Under the deal, Johnson agreed to drop his petition for a new trial and agreed not to pursue an appeal. In return, the DA’s office agreed to shave two years off his sentence and drop a request to add a habitual offender enhancement.
The DA’s office filed a “multiple bill” seeking the sentencing enhancement after Johnson’s conviction. Boyle unsuccessfully objected to the move, citing Johnson’s age — he’s 59 — as well as health problems and the fact that the jury’s guilty verdict wasn’t unanimous.
One of the 12 jurors found Johnson not guilty. Louisiana is one of only two states that allow non-unanimous jury verdicts in felony cases.
Boyle also brought up DA Leon Cannizzaro’s disproportionate use of multiple bills compared to the rest of the state, which means someone convicted in New Orleans is more likely to receive a long sentence than someone with a similar criminal history in another parish. Boyle argued that violates defendants’ constitutional right to equal protection under the law.
Critics argue that the DA’s office uses multiple bills to force plea deals. “You’re making a Hobson’s choice when you have an unnecessarily punitive system,” Boyle said.
Friday, March 02, 2018
The DA was in danger of losing a conviction due to the use of "fake subpoenas." But Leon figured out a way to make it stick. He used his other favorite tool, the habitual offender law. Basically, it's just bullying.