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Orleans Parish DA Leon Cannizzaro is bothered by a criminal justice system he feels is too often failing victims of domestic violence
New Orleans - A video tape introduced as evidence shows a man sucker punch a woman. In court, the victim explained to Judge Frank Marullo that her boyfriend, Deante Brumfield, punched her.  She hoped Marullo would make Brumfield take parenting and anger management classes instead of jail.  Marullo found Brumfield not guilty of domestic abuse battery.



The Times Picayune quoted Marullo criticizing the DA's office for bringing the case to criminal court. He said "we're sitting here with all these cases when we have cases where people get shot and things like that."

Orleans Parish DA Leon Cannizzaro is bothered by a criminal justice system he feels is too often failing victims of domestic violence.  Like Jennifer Muse who's husband gunned down her, her mother and sister in March -- two days after he was found not guilty of battery for pushing her.  Cannizzaro says, "What some may consider a not so harmful push or a slap that is not so bad, we know there is a great potential that these instances can turn into violent episodes where people are shot and killed."

Cannizzaro created a special Domestic Violence unit of prosecutors to handle all domestic violence cases.  He also moved domestic violence cases from municipal to criminal court, allowing for more serious penalties -- potentially. But take the recent case of Todd Fussell who plead guilty to battery. Sentenced to probation, records show less than a month later he was back in court for the attempted murder of the same victim.

Cannizzaro says, "It is about the safety of the victims and trying to prevent a more severe violent episode from taking place."  He believes the system will only be better able to protect domestic violence victims if there is better understanding of it in court and the community.

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