Criminal Justice Reform Bills Move Forward
The House takes up three Senate bills aimed at implementing criminal justice reform lawmakers promised to deliver during the session.
These changes would make parole easier to get for more prisoners and reduce sentences for first-time offenders. Metairie Senator Danny Martiny says he understands it’s a hard vote because everyone wants to be tough on crime.
Caddo District Attorney James Stewart tells KEEL News he supports most of these changes and says he is confident the state will provide funding for programs to help those who are released early from prison.
Albany Representative Sherman Mack raised concerns about a provision that provides parole eligibility for second degree murderers sentenced in the 1970s, which means 160 inmates serving life sentences would become parole eligible.
Natalie Laborde with the Department of Corrections says in the 1970s the penalty for second-degree murder was life in prison with parole eligibility after 40 years, and the legislature removed parole eligibility in the 1980s.