For Ricky Babin, the most rewarding part of being a district attorney is helping crime victims.
“They’re scared. They’re not used to the system,” he said. “You’re the person they depend on, and the stakes are high. You’re not just litigating over money or property.”
Babin represents the 23rd Judicial District, which covers Ascension, Assumption and St. James parishes. He was recently elected president of the Louisiana District Attorneys Association and will begin his term Tuesday.
Having belonged to the association for more than 20 years and served on the board for about eight, Babin said he’s humbled to have been named president.
“They’ve got a lot of fine district attorneys across the state,” he said. “It’s a lot of responsibility. I’m looking forward to the challenge and doing the best I can.”
Babin earned his law degree in 1992 from LSU, where he was a member of the Louisiana Law Review and the Order of the Coif. He has practiced both civil and criminal law and worked as a defense attorney and prosecutor.
He joined the District Attorney’s Office in 1995, handling drug and sex offenses as well as civil litigation, and was appointed first assistant district attorney in 2002.
Babin was elected district attorney in 2008 and reelected in 2014 without opposition.
He said one of his proudest achievements has been working with the state on recent criminal justice reform packages. Although he understands concerns about the cost of mass incarceration, he said factors such as public safety must be considered.
“We have to decide between the bad guys and people who made a mistake,” he said. “You can’t just open the gates. It’s a thoughtful process. Some people need to be there. We spoke up for the victims and worked out a compromise that had those victims in mind.”
Babin said with his new role, he hopes to establish some consistency with the way cases are handled throughout the state. He also wants to educate the public on the process of prosecuting a case and rehabilitation options offered for some offenders.
Pete Adams, executive director of the District Attorneys Association, said Babin brings experience and perspective to the organization.
“He’s an excellent trial lawyer,” Adams said. “He’s been in the courtroom a lot. He’s a well-rounded DA. Ricky’s very passionate about the institution of prosecution. I think he wants to raise the bar and help us get better at what we do.”
— Staff Writer Bridget Mire can be reached…