ACLU: Thousands sitting in Louisiana jails waiting too long for trials

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NEW ORLEANS -- The ACLU of Louisiana joined local politicians and other civil rights groups on the steps of City Hall Monday morning to shed some light on the growing number of incarcerated people who are awaiting trials in Louisiana.

According to the ACLU, the Louisiana Sheriff's Association has released contradictory information about the number of people across the state who are sitting behind bars waiting for trial.

Initially, the report said there are more than 1,300 people who fit the bill, but that number later changed to more than 2,000, according to the ACLU.

"Most of the these people will be offered deals for less time than they have served by the time they finally got to court," New Orleans City Councilman Jason Williams said. "Another group of these people will have their charges completely dropped.  You are paying for innocent people to sit in jail because a prosecutor has not brought a case."

In Louisiana, time limits for bringing a case to trial vary depending on the crime the defendant is charged with.

The ACLU of Louisiana filed 64 public records requests Monday morning requesting information on trial delays. Ultimately, the ACLU wants to see people who have been waiting longer than they are supposed to released from jail.

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