When U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt last week granted a new trial for five former police officers convicted in the Danziger Bridgeshootings post-Katrina, observers wondered how long it would take for the implications of the order to manifest across the federal courthouse.
The answer came only a couple of days later, as high-profile defendants facing unrelated corruption charges began scrambling to leverage the blistering decision, and the government misconduct it revealed, to help their own cases. The list so far includes former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Stacey Jackson, who headed the Nagin administration's botched effort to fix homes after the storm.
More are expected to come. An attorney forRenee Gill Pratt, the former state representative and New Orleans City Council member convicted of corruption, is already considering a motion for a new trial.