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The division begins to reinvestigate Kuantay Reeder’s case, discovering new evidence that could hold the key to his freedom. The Guardian’s US southern bureau chief, Oliver Laughland, goes to interview Harry Connick, the district attorney from 1973 to 2003, to ask how he felt about presiding over an administration accused of rights violations and disproportionately punishing the city’s poorest Black residents.
The division spends six months reinvestigating Kuantay Reeder’s case. They find new evidence, and the Guardian’s US southern bureau chief, Oliver Laughland, accompanies the team to court to see whether Reeder’s conviction will be overturned. Also present are members of Mark Broxton’s family, including his mother, Mary Green, who see Reeder face to face for the first time since 1995.
Oliver also visits Harry Connick, the district attorney from 1973 to 2003. Many people argue his policies – such as routine use of the habitual offender law – were one of the main reasons New Orleans became the incarceration capital of the world. Oliver questions Connick on the use of multi-billing and the issue of Brady violations – where evidence is withheld – during his tenure. In 2011 the supreme court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said a lack of training on Brady was pervasive.