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Attorney General Jeff Landry Responds to Governor's Letter to the Louisiana Board of Pardons

BATON ROUGE, LA - Attorney General Jeff Landry issued the following statement after Governor John Bel Edwards wrote the Louisiana Board of Pardons calling on its Members to commute the death sentence of 56 heinous murderers:

"John Bel Edwards has been Governor for nearly eight years; and now, in the waning days of his tenure, he is trying to circumvent the established legal process to commute the death sentences of Louisiana’s most heinous criminals.

In seeking to commute the death sentences of these 56 convicted murderers, John Bel Edwards is attempting to overturn the decisions of 672 Louisiana jurors and 1,344 individual juror votes. These jurors took time from their families and jobs to go through weeks of intensive and stressful litigation. They had the courage to stand up and vote in favor of the victims of these horrible crimes and render the appropriate death sentences. The criminals they convicted have murdered innocent people, including law enforcement officers.

These cases involved intensive investigations by hundreds of law enforcement officers. Hundreds of family members and secondary victims suffered from those murders and were involved directly or indirectly with the trials. Numerous district judges presided over the lengthy and difficult trials – following the law in issuing the death sentences.

The commutation to a life sentence is the first step in converting the sentences to a set period of time with eligibility for parole or release. So, as a lame duck governor with less than five months left on his term, John Bel Edwards seeks to insult the judgement of thousands of Louisiana citizens, law enforcement officers, judges, and crime victims."