A New Orleans woman, who was once a victim of human trafficking, tells her sad story during a press conference in which Governor Jindal announced his push to crackdown on the horrific criminal activity. Clemmie Greenlee says she was walking to the store when she was 12, then was suddenly snatched up by men who were passing out gifts.
"They immediately put me in this car and pulled off. Then they took me to a house where there were already girls in a basement handcuffed, beaten and bleeding," Greenlee recounts. "Then these men immediately took me, drugged me up and gang raped me."
According to Shared Hope International, Baton Rouge ranks in the top ten cities in the nation for human trafficking. Jindal says there are millions of these women living in slavery who will go to sleep tonight praying for a way out.
He says this legislation would ensure these monsters are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
"Our warning is that you DO NOT want to do this in Louisiana," Jindal said. "You don't want to do this anywhere in the world, but you certainly don't want to do this in the state of Louisiana."
Two bills have been filed for this session that would put very stiff penalties on people who force a victim to provide commercial services, often times sexual, against their will.
The legislation also increases protections and remedies for victims.
Greenlee says the horror she experienced is one that will remain with her the rest of her life.
"I received stab wounds and stitches and I have the scars I can show you guys," said Greenlee. "It is so terrifying that at 12 years old, at 14 years old, 16 years old -- these men took an innocent life and destroyed it. I wanted to be an RN but instead I was labeled a prostitute."
Greenlee says she is grateful this issue is getting the attention it needs.
"Because I know there are still a lot of young girls that are somewhere tied up right now," Greenlee said.
A New Orleans lawmaker says a person should be 18 or over if they want to tan in a bed that emits ultra violet light. Representative Helena Moreno says she was approached by a group of dermatologists who asked her to file legislation that would make it against the law for teens 17 and under to lay in a UV tanning bed.
"Studies have shown people who lay in tanning beds are 59% more likely to get melanoma which is the deadliest type of skin cancer," said Moreno. "The risk is even greater when you start tanning in your younger years."
Moreno says women in their teens and 20's make up 70% of a tanning salon's clientele.
"That's concerning to us," Moreno says. "Tanning beds are a carcinogen just as cigarettes are or asbestos or plutonium. So it's time to protect our kids and this is the right step to take."
Moreno says tanning beds are blamed for thousands of emergency room visits each year. Currently, kids between 14-17 need to have a parent sign off before they can tan, but Moreno says many adults don't know about tanning bed risks.
"There is no way that teenagers should be using tanning beds," Moreno said. "Their likelihood of getting cancer greatly increases and they'll be battling through that in their early adulthood."
The bill passed House Health & Welfare committee this morning by a vote of 17-1 and now heads to the House floor.
The Saints were not expected to make to a big splash in free agency, because of limited salary cap space. But somehow New Orleans found enough dollars to sign 3-time Pro Bowl safety Jarius Byrd, who will play alongside Kenny Vaccaro in New Orleans secondary.
"Coming to terms with Byrd makes the Saints defense one of the very best in the NFL," NFL analyst Mike Detillier said. "He's the new defensive quarterback and a good one."
Byrd is 27-years-old and former second-round draft pick by the Buffalo Bills in the 2009 draft.
In 73 games, he has 22 interceptions, 11 forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries. Byrd missed the first five games last season, because of a foot injury. His rookie season is the only other time he's missed time due to an injury.
He's considered one of the top players in this free agent market. The former Oregon standout will reportedly receive 28-million dollars in guaranteed money.
Byrd will replace safety Malcolm Jenkins in the Saints backfield. Jenkins signed a three-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Legislation has been filed that will allow teachers and principals to bring their guns into classrooms. The bill is by Chalmette Representative Ray Garofalo who says this is in response to an increase in gun violence, particularly on school campuses.
Garofalo's bill will no doubt run into resistance from those on the side of the gun control debate who feel guns only create more problems. He feels this legislation will "take up the welcome mat" and send a clear signal to those who would do harm.
"We have to do something to show the criminals and the crazies that we are taking action and they may meet some resistance if they go onto those campuses," Garofalo said.
While the bill has not been scheduled for hearing at this time, Garofalo anticipates a committee hearing date will be set in the near future.
A Caddo Parish man on
death row has been released from Angola after a Caddo Parish District Judge
signed an order vacating Glenn Ford's first degree murder conviction and death
Ford has spent the
last 30 years on death row for the murder of a Shreveport Jewelry store owner,
who was found shot to death in 1983. Ford's attorney Gary Clements was quick to
praise the prosecution for their efforts in this case.
"New evidence has come up to show he is factually innocent. Evidence the prosecution brought to our attention, and to their credit, helped make this day possible," Clements said.
This new evidence
"supports findings that Ford was neither present at, nor a participant in
the robbery and murder of Isadore Rozeman."
Prosecutors, however, were
unwilling to state what the new evidence is, saying this information could
jeopardize a future case against the actual killer. Clements says three other
men were initially arrested at the same time as Ford, but never went to trial,
while went Ford went to jail.
"They put the wrong person on death row, in fact I know they put the wrong person on death row," said Clements.
Clements says Ford,
who did occasional odd jobs and yard work for Rozeman, has always maintained