BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore filed an injunction regarding death row inmates’ clemency hearings Tuesday afternoon.
According to Moore’s office, the district attorney is filing to address concerns that the process is moving too quickly after the governor’s request and is seeking “to void the Board’s decision to set these death row defendants for commutation hearings and ensure that any further decisions are in accordance with established law, rules and policies.”
Gov. John Bel Edwards asked the Louisiana Board of Pardons to consider clemency for 56 death row inmates in an Aug. 9 letter. The next day, the board said it started the process of planning hearings.
Moore has previously expressed concerns, saying that the inmates’ request came “as a surprise to several district attorneys.”
“The petition clearly outlines the proper authority of the Governor and Pardon Board and the procedures which the law requires they must follow to set and hold hearings on commutations,” said Moore in a statement after the filing. “This process has not been followed for this special group of inmates who are incarcerated for the worst of offenses. The petition is based on facts and law and not on conjecture or politics. This petition is not about the propriety of the death penalty, nor an attack of the Pardon Board or Governor, but simply about following the rule of law and not advocating end runs around the law which undermine our system of justice and put individuals’ values before others’ rights. The petition represents the real death row of victims killed over the past several decades and whose families are still living with their loss.”
Moore said to expect the board to investigate and hear claims in three to four months when only one would normally take a year is “reckless.”
“It is important to remember that victims have ZERO recourse to a wrongfully granted clemency while these convicted killers have had and will have multiple bites at the apple,” he said.
Read the petition below.