BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — In honor of World Day Against the Death Penalty, Louisiana faith leaders gathered in front of the Governor’s Mansion advocating that the governor orders the Pardon and Parole Board to hold clemency hearings for everyone on death row.
“Pro-life is about the life of prisoners, it’s about the life of children, it’s about the life in health care, it’s a life about the quality of life for everybody in this state,” said Sister Helen Prejean of the Congregation of St. Joseph.
Gov. John Bel Edwards wrote a letter to the Louisiana Board of Pardons asking them to consider clemency for 56 death row inmates. However, a settlement made the inmates scheduled for hearings in Oct. and Nov. ineligible. Faith leaders then presented Edwards with a letter signed by 100 other organizers to urge him before time runs out.
“He said he will be considering next steps and him and the first lady, Donna Edwards, are united with us in prayer as they discern and pray about their next steps on this issue,” said Alison Mccrary with the Louisiana Interfaith Against Executions.
Mccrary believes that clemency is a more humane point of action because it allows them to still be held accountable, instead of inhumane, even if that means life without parole.
“It’s about access to a process that allows someone who did harm to someone and who has served time to go before the pardon board and say this is who I am today, this is how I’ve changed.”
East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore has been pushing to stop these clemency hearings saying that the families of the victims want to keep these people on death row.