BATON ROUGE, LA. (BRPROUD) — On Tuesday, almost no one on Louisiana’s death row will be able to get a clemency hearing. Hillar Moore, the district attorney for East Baton Rouge, and the Louisiana Board of Pardons and Committee on Parole came to an agreement.
Moore said, “The judge ruled in our favor that their intervention was pointless because the parties had already reached an agreement.” The Parole Board agreed to follow its rules and procedures in the future, but Moore thinks there will be more lawsuits. Moore says, “All the parties are now happy, so to speak.” “But I’m sure that death row inmates will keep filing lawsuits through the legal council as long as they can.”
In August, Gov. John Bel Edwards wrote to the Louisiana Board of Pardons and asked that 56 people on death row be considered for clemency. The governor asked Moore and several lawyers to file an injunction. The injunction was meant to stop the hearings from being set up and set rules about who could go and when. At a news conference, district attorneys and the families of the people who were killed spoke out against the governor’s decision to hold the hearings.
Moore said, “We’ve never said we didn’t respect the governor, because we do.” “He has an opinion that may be different from ours, but as governor, he has a right to that opinion.” Moore says that when he talked to the people whose loved ones had died, they told him that what the governor wrote was a blow.
“That was a harder phone call because they asked, ‘How can this be happening to us?'” said Moore. “When the governor just said he doesn’t like the death penalty and the Pardon Board put them on the agenda? That hit them right in the gut.” Jeff Landy, the Attorney General, asked the courts to stop the clemency hearings, and they did. This led to a legal battle.
Moore says that he met with the Pardon Board last week and a deal was made. Moore thinks this is a win for the families who want justice, but he doesn’t think the fight is over yet. Moore said, “Keep giving those who have a normal voice a voice.” “We’re going to keep being here, we’re not leaving.”
The first set of hearings on granting clemency were set to start next week. Moore said that less than ten of these 56 prisoners can file appeals. Those appeals could be added as soon as next week.