Michael Isaac Stein covers New Orleans' cultural economy and local government for The Lens. Before joining the staff, he freelanced for The Lens as well as The Intercept, CityLab, The New Republic, and Pacific Standard. He was recently awarded a fellowship from the Heinrich Boll Foundation, which he used to report on water scarcity, division, and colonialism in Cyprus.
Multiple bills are way down in New Orleans. But they still offer prosecutors leverage as a threat. Court Watch volunteers saw prosecutors reference the habitual offender law in 16 percent of plea-deal cases in 2017, 13 percent in 2018.