Damico & Stockstill, Attorneys at Law

Louisiana lawmakers face issue of parole eligibility for juvenile offenders

Louisiana was one of 37 states affected by a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision which said that juveniles convicted of crimes not involving murder cannot be imprisoned for life. According to that decision, such inmates are not guaranteed release, but must be offered a meaningful opportunity for release.

Ten Jefferson Parish individuals sentenced to life in prison for crimes they committed as juveniles are currently eligible for parole under this law. One of them, now a 28 year old who has already served 12 years, was told earlier this month that he must wait 17 more years before he can apply for parole. He was convicted of aggravated kidnapping and armed robbery and sentenced in 2000 to life in prison without chance of parole.

According to the Louisiana state Department of Corrections, 48 inmates across Louisiana are currently serving life sentences for crimes other than homicide which they committed prior to turning 18. Many of them are hoping for a second chance.

Louisiana legislators have considered a proposal that would have allowed these inmates parole eligibility after 35 years, but that measure was eventually rejected. Last November, the state's high court issued an interim decision ruling that these offenders are eligible for parole when they reach age 45 and have served 20 years of their sentence. Lawmakers may be reconsidering the issue this year.

According to sources, the Louisiana District Attorneys Association will be requesting that the Legislature make these inmates eligible for parole at age 60 and when they have served 45 years of their sentence.

It isn't clear exactly what will come out of the deliberations on this issue. What seems clear is that those who commit crimes as juveniles can and do change, and deserve a second chance.

Source: nola.com, "Louisiana grapples with juvenile crime decision by Supreme Court," Paul Purpura, January 22, 2012.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Need Help From An Experienced Team Of Trial Attorneys?

Use the form below to contact our attorneys directly. Contact us right now.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Our lawyers have over 50 years of combined experience and are AV-rated* under Martindale Hubbell's peer review rating system.

*CV, BV and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the Judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell Ratings fall into two categories - legal ability and general ethical standards.

Damico & Stockstill, Attorneys at Law

8048 One Calais Avenue | Suite A | Baton Rouge, LA 70809-3483 | Phone: 225-250-1812 | Fax: 225-769-0195 | Baton Rouge Law Office Map