NEW ORLEANS, La. (KLFY) – Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Williams has ordered his Civil Rights Division to initiate a full review of all cases prosecuted by Judge Michelle Odinet while she served as an Assistant District Attorney in Orleans Parish, according to a press release from his office.
Williams issued the following statement:
“I have ordered my Civil Rights Division to initiate a full review of all cases prosecuted by now-Judge Michelle Odinet while she served as an Assistant District Attorney in Orleans Parish. The language attributed to Judge Odinet last week is deeply concerning to any person who genuinely cares about fair outcomes in our criminal system. No act, including a criminal act, justifies the denial of basic dignity inherent in the language used by Judge Odinet. That a judge and former prosecutor so comfortably employed a racial epithet serves as a telling reminder that the attitudes which fostered mass incarceration continue to undermine our pursuit of equal justice. Moreover, the casual dehumanization displayed by Judge Odinet raises serious questions about her impartiality and the presence of bias and discrimination in her work on the bench and during her time as a prosecutor.”Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Williams
Prior to her election in Lafayette, Judge Odinet was formerly a prosecutor for both the Orleans and Lafayette Parish District Attorney’s offices, where she prosecuted juvenile delinquencies and adult felonies ranging from theft and narcotics to rape and first-degree murder, according to the City Court of Lafayette’s website.