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FORGOTTEN MEN

NCJ Number
68378
Journal
Angolite Dated: (MAY/JUNE 1980) Pages: 23-56
Author(s)
ANON
Date Published
1980
Length
34 pages
Annotation
FROM 1926 UNTIL 1973, THE LEGAL MINIMUM SERVICE REQUIREMENT ON A LIFE SENTENCE IN LOUISIANA WAS 10 YEARS 6 MONTHS. THE DISCONTINUATION OF THAT LAW HAS ADVERSELY AFFECTED MANY OF THE CURRENT 750 LIFERS.
Abstract
FROM 1886 UNTIL 1974, THERE WAS A CLEAR PATTERN OF CLEMENCY LEGISLATION AFFECTING LIFERS WITH THE INTENT OF MERCY. IN 1886, THE EXTENSION OF CLEMENCY TO FIRST OFFENDERS LIFERS WAS ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE. IN 1914, A PAROLE SYSTEM WAS ENACTED THAT PROVIDED ELIGIBILITY FOR PAROLE FOR LIFERS AFTER SERVING ONE-THIRD OF THE ACTUAL TIME THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN SERVED UNDER A REDUCED SENTENCE IN 1926, THE LEGISLATURE PASSED ACT 311 WHICH PROVIDED A MINIMUM SERVICE OF 10 YEARS 6 MONTHS ON A LIFE SENTENCE. IT WAS THE BASIS FOR THE ROUTINE RELEASE OF LITERS WITH GOOD CONDUCT RECORDS AT OR AROUND THAT TIME AND WAS UPHELD BY THE COURTS, THE JUDGES, AND DISTRICT ATTORNEYS FOR 54 YEARS. IN 1974 THE CREATION OF A NEW PARDON BOARD INFUSED POWER POLITICS INTO THE PAROLE PROCESS. AS IT IS APPLIED TO 10/6 LIFERS (THOSE WHO RECEIVED A LIFE SENTENCE UNDER THE OLD LAW), THE PRESENT RELEASE CRITERIA OF THE NEW PARDON BOARD RAISES A LEGAL QUESTION OF AN EX-POST-FACTO VIOLATION, AND GOES AGAINST THE KORTNESS DOCTRINE, WHICH SAYS THAT A PRISONER IS ENTITLED TO MEANINGFUL CONSIDERATION FOR RELEASE FROM PRISON WHEN HE HAS A LEGITIMATE EXPECTATION OF RELEASE. THE DECISION TO END THE 10/6 PRACTICE WAS MADE BY FORMER DIRECTOR OF CORRECTIONS ELAYN HUNT IN 1972, AFTER A PERIOD OF VIOLENCE IN ANGOLA PRISON AND AFTER A PUBLIC UPROAR OVER THE FURMAN DECISION STRIKING DOWN DEATH PENALTY STATUTES. THE AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION HAS AGREED TO REPRESENT THE 10/6 LIFERS IN COURT. THE CURRENT PARDON BOARD DOES NOT OFFER HOPE FOR THE 10/6 LIFER, SOMETHING THAT WAS PART OF THE PENAL SYSTEM SINCE 1886. TWENTY REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED. (TAG)