Keith Stutes District Attorney, 15th Judicial District, Lafayette
Keith Stutes is the District Attorney for the 15th Judicial District of the State of Louisiana, serving the parishes of Acadia, Lafayette, and Vermilion. Prior to his election in 2014, Stutes served as an Assistant District Attorney (ADA) for 28 years, working as chief felony drug prosecutor for eight years, from 1986 to 1994, and as chief of Felony Section II until his retirement in September 2012. During his time as an ADA, he was lead prosecutor in more than 75 felony jury trials, including six capital murder trials. Stutes also worked as a special assistant U.S. attorney for the Western District of Louisiana from 1990 to 1992 and served as court magistrate for the Mayor's Court in Scott for 12 years, from 1983 to 1995.
Stutes served as an instructor at the Acadiana Law Enforcement Training Academy (ALETA) and is an Adjunct Professor teaching “Introduction to Criminal Justice” at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Keith has been a member of the Louisiana District Attorneys Association since 1984. He served as President of the Assistant District Attorneys Section in 1993-94 and on the Board of Directors from 1993 to 1995.
Keith and his wife Carolyn (Prejean) live in Lafayette. They have two married daughters, Aimee and Erin, and three granddaughters.
Are the criminal justice reforms working as intended?
In 2017, Louisiana’s legislature passed the Justice Reinvestment Act, which sought to reduce the state’s highest-in-the-nation incarceration rate. The bill was championed by Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards and received bipartisan support including from community and business leaders. Now, just over a year later, the legislation has become a political football. State Attorney General Jeff Landry and Senator John Kennedy, both Republicans considering a run against Edwards in 2019, suggest that the reform package is a failure. They cite murders committed by two inmates released since the Act’s implementation.
Are the criminal justice reforms working as intended? Has the legislation put more residents in harm’s way or are plea deals part of the problem?
Louisiana Public Square looks for answers to these questions and more on “Revisiting Reform” Wednesday, September 26 at 7pm on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE.
Louisiana Public Square can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.