http://www.legis.la.gov/Legis/Law.aspx?p=y&d=79213Type your paragraph here.
§574. Adoption of rules by Board of Pardons
A. The Board of Pardons may adopt for its governance such rules as it may deem proper, not contrary to law.
B.(1) The board shall not take up for consideration any application for a hearing or any application for a pardon, commutation, or clemency, until the district attorney of the parish in which the person applying for the pardon, commutation, or clemency was convicted has been notified, and has had ample opportunity to attend the session at which said application shall be considered.
(2) The board shall not take up any consideration of an application for a hearing or for a pardon, clemency, or commutation until it has made reasonable efforts to contact the victim or the surviving family members of the victim, including correspondence mailed at least thirty days prior to the date of the hearing to the last known address of the victim or the surviving family members of the victim, and it has notified the Crime Victims Services Bureau of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections.
Acts 1997, No. 828, §1; Acts 1999, No. 7, §1.
**Since the original bill, SB424, did not pass through the senate during the 2016 legislative session, a similar bill will be reintroduced in 2017's session. We still need support and signatures for those in favor of parole consideration for 1st time offenders.
The Department of Corrections’ operating budget for the fiscal year 2014-2015 was more than $826 million. With the state in a budget crisis and the DOC budget quickly approaching $1 billion, there is an obligation to taxpayers to find responsible ways to reduce the cost while still maintaining the department’s foremost goal of ensuring public safety. The passage of this bill will allow for the parole board, which now consists of professionals with criminal justice experience who are appointed by the current governor, to evaluate lifers for parole consideration, not immediate release.
Parole eligibility for this class of offenders will bring Louisiana in line with more than 90 percent of other states in the nation. There is only 1 other state (Pennsylvania) where all life sentences are meted out without parole; none which use it to the degree that Louisiana does.
The number of offenders sentenced to life every year varies, but over the last several years, approximately 75 to 95 offenders are sentenced to life without the possibility of parole annually. At this rate, in the next decade, the state will have to provide housing and financing for between 750 to 950 new lifers. It normally costs approximately $25,000 to $30,000 a year to house an offender, but with the median-age of the lifer population fast approaching 50 (The average age of lifers in 2014 was 45.6 years), the cost skyrockets to more than $55,000 annually for those over age 50.
In 2015, 13.4 percent of the total prison population in Louisiana were serving life sentences. Of those 4,870 lifers, 2,166 were first offenders, 2,957 were over the age of 45, and 1,816 had served 20 years or more. It is estimated that DOC spends more than $120 million annually just on lifers due to the costs associated with the aging lifer population.“Criminal Menopause” is a term now being coined by corrections experts across the nation. This term is used to describe incarcerated men and women who have reached the age of 45 and have served a significant number of years; 20 or more. Statistics prove that the majority of these offenders no longer possess the criminal mentality that led to their incarceration. A DOC study, conducted in conjunction with Louisiana State University (LSU), showed that offenders who
Proposed Bill/First time Parole Eligibility
First offender parole eligibility, present law
House Bills & Proposals
Our petition support amendments and to mandatory life sentencing in Louisiana.
Read the amendments and consider supporting our efforts to change these laws. There are far too many men and women serving unjust sentences, their crimes do not fit the punishment.
Be a part of change and sign our petition.
Amends R.S. 572.4(C) and (D), relative to notice of application of clemency to Board of Pardons and time periods for which to apply for clemency.
An Act Purpose: To amend La. R.S. 15:572.4(C), (a) and (D), relative to the placing of clemency ads and time periods for which certain inmates must wait to apply for clemency, or to reapply after a hearing is denied. 15:572.4(C) Before setting a hearing on an application for pardon or commutation of sentence, notice of application to the board for clemency or commutation of sentence shall be published and posted for a period of thirty consecutive days in a section on the Department of corrections website dedicated exclusively to clemency notices and notice of hearings. This site shall be maintained by the Department of Corrections and applications shall pay an administration fee of $25.00 to cover the cost of posting the notice and maintaining the site. (a) The Department of Corrections shall establish procedures for inmates required to publish notice of application for clemency and provide proof of posting to the Board of Pardons. 15:572.4(D) Notwithstanding any provisions of the law to the contrary, any applicant who has been sentenced to life imprisonment shall not be eligible to apply to the board for a pardon or commutation of sentence for a period of ten years after being sentenced by the trial court. If the application is denied the applicant shall be notified in writing of the reasons for the denial and thereafter may file a new application to the board no earlier than three years from the date of action by the board. A third or subsequent application shall not be filed earlier than two years from the date of the action taken by the board in the second application, However, the provisions of this Subsection shall not apply when the board determines that new and material evidence that, notwithstanding the exercise of reasonable diligence by the applicant, was not discovered before or during his trial, is available and if by the applicant, was not discovered before or during his trial, is available and if it had been introduced at trail it could have changed or created reasonable doubt as to the verdict or judgment of guilty. _____________________________________________________________ The following digest constitutes no part of the legislative instrument.
Present law provides for applicants granted hearings before the Board of Pardons to place an ad or notice in the newspaper contracted as the official journal of the parish in which the applicant was convicted. Newspapers (or official journals) are not bound by any rules or laws as to the price they can changes the applicant to place the ad and the applicant will not be given a hearing unless the ad is in place and proof of the ad is presented to the Board of Pardons. Proposed law eliminates the requirement that clemency ads be places with official journal of the parish of conviction and instead authorizes the Department of Corrections to the create a clemency notices to be posted relative to hearings and hearing schedules. New law allows ad to run for 30 consecutive days on the website instead of the three days in a thirty-day period as currently in the official parish journal, giving broader notice for this seeking pardons or clemency. Present law requires four electors to recommend clemency or pardon to forward the recommendation to the governor. Present law sets no limit on the time a favorable recommendation of the Board of Pardons can sit with the governor awaiting his/her signature.
Proposed law changes the requirement to recommend clemency or pardon from four to three members of the board. Proposed law allows the governor, upon a favorable recommendation by the board, to veto a recommendation for pardon or clemency within 90 days of that recommendation or said recommendation will become final with full authority of law. Present law allows the applicant's victims, or the spouse and the next of kin of a deceased victim to be present, give and rebut testimony and be heard at the applicant's hearing. Present law allows all other persons who desire to do so the right to be present and be heard at an applicant's hearing. Proposed law allows the applicant's victims, or the spouse and next of kin of a deceased victim to be present, give and rebut testimony and be heard at the applicant's hearing. Proposed law allows only those with a direct interest in the case, including but not limited to the district attorney, law enforcement, prison officials, mental health professionals, and witnesses for and against the petitioner to be heard. Generic opposition from victim rights groups and victims rights groups and victim advocates, or prisoner advocates or supporters who have no direct involvement or interest in the case before the board are allowed to be present but not an opportunity to be heard. Present law prohibits any person sentenced to life in prison from applying for a pardon or commutation until they have served 15 years from date of sentencing. Present law also restricts persons sentenced to life from reapplying, should their application be denied, for a period of six years after their first application, three years after their second application and two years after their third application. Proposed law allows persons sentenced to life in prison to apply for a pardon or commutation after they have served 10 years from the date of sentencing and, should the application es denied, to reapply after two years and every two years hence and suspends the time limitations for applicants who have new evidence of innocence, which has it been known and presented at trial could have changed the verdict of guilty or created a reasonable doubt as to the conviction, and allows them to present it to the board.
CRIME/PUNISHMENT. Repeals, amends and reenacts La. R.S. 14:30. 1(b) as to parole eligibility for first offenders.
Purpose: To repeal and reenact La. R.S. 14:30 .0(B) by changing the penalty for Second Degree Murder, La. R.S. 14:30.1(B),
for 1st time felony offenders. from mandatory life without parole to 15-25 years with parole eligibility after 15 years of actual time served in custody.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of Louisiana.
AN ACT 1
La. R.S. 14:30.1(b) is hereby repealed and reenacted. The following is all new law:
14:30.1(B) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, any person convicted
of the crime of second degree murder, except if that person is a first felony
offender, or a second felony offender whose first conviction is not a crime of
violence, shall be sentenced to live in prison at hard labor without benefit of parole,
probation or suspension of sentence.
Any person convicted of the crime of second degree murder who is a first felony
offender or a second offender whose first conviction is not a crime of violence, shall
be sentenced to 25 years at hard labor without benefit of probation or suspension of
sentence, but shall be eligible for parole after having served 15 years in actual
The provision of this law shall be retroactive, applying to all person previously
convicted o f LA. R.S. 14:30.1 who are adjudicated first time felony offenders or
second offenders whose first convicted is not a crime of violence. This act supersedes
any previous act under La. 14:30.1(B)
The following digest constitutes no part of the legislative instrument
Present Law requires a life sentence and prohibits parole eligibility for any person convinced of second degree murder. There are more than 4,300 prisoners in Louisiana serving life without parole, all of whom are first offenders. About 60 percent of all life sentence prisoners are convicted of second degree murder and approximately half of the them are first time felony offenders. As Louisiana R.S. 14.30.1 currently reads, in regard to second degree murder , to convict requires no showing of specific intent to kill other than the inference that intent can be shown from result of a person's action that causes the death of another. This provision is out of balance with surrounding states.
Nearly all states differentiate capital murder, first degree murder and second degree murder. Capital murder, when the death penalty is not given, and first degree murder usually call for sentences of life with our without parole. In almost no instance in other states in a life sentence without parole imposed for a conviction of second degree for a first time felony offender. At least 40 other states have involuntary manslaughter statues that incorporate as an element of the crime the lack of specific intent to kill. Were Louisiana's current second degree murder statute required to prove specific intent to kill, most cases would fall into a lesser category, but unlike the current manslaughter statute that mitigates murder only through the "heat of blood," it does not examine specific or state of mind.
This is one reason why Louisiana now has more than 4,300 prisoners sentenced to life without parole, the highest per capita rate of any other state, and costing $100.00 million per year in incarceration costs.
Proposed law continues to require a life sentence for any second felony offender convicted of second degree murder whose first conviction is a crime of violence, but maximizes the sentence for first offenders, or second offenders whose first conviction is a crime of violent at 25 years and allows parole eligibility for the same after having served 15 years in actual custody.
Proposed law allowing for parole eligibility for first offenders convicted of second degree murder is comparable to and consistent with all but two other states in the U.S. only Pennsylvania and South Dakota do not allow parole eligibility for first offenders convicted of a homicide that is less than first degree or capital murder.