Louisiana governor increases sentence commutations in 2020

Louisiana News

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks to reporters at a briefing on the state’s efforts against the coronavirus pandemic in Baton Rouge, La., Monday, May 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Gov. John Bel Edwards commuted 36 prison sentences last year, allowing more people a chance at parole in 2020 than during his entire first four-year term in office.

The latest clemency actions were taken quietly.

The Advocate reports Edwards granted the awards throughout the year for the people who were convicted of violent crimes decades earlier and were deemed low risk to public safety.

By comparison, records show the Democratic governor granted 34 sentence commutations from 2016 through 2019.

Edwards has not explained his thought process or the factors he weighs most heavily in making clemency decisions.

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