‘Deep Wounds Have Been Reopened’: Dem Louisiana Gov Orders Clemency Review For 56 Death Row Inmates

Inmates include man convicted of raping and stabbing a four-year-old girl.
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

The Democrat governor of Louisiana has ordered a clemency review of 56 of the 57 inmates on death row — including a man convicted of raping and stabbing a 4-year-old girl — after the 56 inmates filed applications.

Governor John Bel Edwards decided to order the review after the leading GOP challenger to replace him in November, State Attorney General Jeff Landry, issued an advisory opinion urging the state’s parole board — all of whom were appointed by Edwards — to consider all applications as non-viable. Landry said the board should not ignore its policy — which requires clemency requests to be made within one year of judges issuing appeal rulings — unless extenuating circumstances applied, such as an imminent execution date. Landry pointed out that the execution dates for the prisoners were not imminent.

“The broad and ill-defined waiver in (the rules) ostensibly empowers the board to repeal portions of its own rules and enact new ones at will, on an ad-hoc basis, and without any notice to the public,” Landry wrote, The Advocate reported. “Such a result is impermissible under Louisiana law.”

In late July, Louisiana’s Board of Pardons and Committee postponed hearing clemency applications death row prisoners had submitted in June in which they asked for life sentences instead of execution.

“Beyond moral justifications, there are a number of reasons, whether based in law or science, that support the need for mercy while considering these applications,” Edwards wrote to the parole board. “Over the last 20 years in Louisiana, there have been six exonerations and more than 50 reversals of sentences in capital cases.”

“The governor is out there right now trying to circumvent a constitutional pardon and parole system,” Landry said in an interview with NOLA. “Every one of those people on death row has had a jury of their peers convict them not once but twice.”

Loren Lampert, the executive director of the Louisiana District Attorneys Association, called Edwards’ action “inappropriate and a direct affront to the victims and their families.”


Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore III, a Democrat, agreed with Landry, saying, “Because of the governor’s request today, deep wounds have been re-opened yet again for victims who thought this issue was decided. When will this emotional roller coaster for these victims end?”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  ‘Deep Wounds Have Been Reopened’: Dem Louisiana Gov Orders Clemency Review For 56 Death Row Inmates