John Bel Edwards, Outgoing Louisiana Gov., Pardons 56 Prisoners, Including 40 Killers Who Were Guilty

Since October of this year, the departing governor of Louisiana has pardoned 56 prisoners, including numerous killers who were found guilty.

John Bel Edwards, Outgoing Louisiana Gov., Pardons 56 Prisoners, Including 40 Killers Who Were Guilty

During his last time in office, Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards made closing the state’s egregiously overcrowded prisons a key priority.

“For as long as I can remember, Louisiana reflexively responded to an increase in crime by putting more people in prison and keeping them there longer,” Edwards told Louisiana news outlet NOLA.com this week.

“We’ve never been made safer as a result of that,” Edwards said. “There is no data to suggest that an increase in crime here was because of the reforms.”

Among the others freed by Edwards are prisoners found guilty of drug selling, robbery, and arson, according to a comprehensive list provided by the local publication Fox 8.

In the last three months, Edwards has granted pardons to forty killers who were found guilty.

Released prisoners were also found guilty of first-degree robbery, armed robbery, theft, aggravated kidnapping, possession of Schedule II, and aggravated arson.

Edwards pardoned five prisoners found guilty of first-degree murder and eleven guilty of second-degree murder in December alone.

One of the highest incarceration rates per capita in the world is found in Louisiana.

Given that there are an astounding 1,094 persons in the Bayou State who are incarcerated in some capacity, Edwards has made it a top mission to reduce this number.

After beating Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter in the second round of the 2015 governor’s race, Edwards has been the governor of Louisiana since 2016.

In the 2019 election, he was reelected to a second term, making history as the state’s first Democratic governor to do so since 1975.

Replacing Edward was Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, who avoided a runoff by garnering more than 50% of the vote in an October jungle primary.

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