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Convicts with life sentences are up for parole; district attorney says it makes no sense
GONZALES- Ascension Parish District Attorney Ricky Babin said he recently had two cases involving convicts who were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole come up for parole hearings.
"I don't understand it," Babin said. "I don't understand how someone is convicted of a crime, is sentenced by a court after a hearing to life imprisonment without benefit of parole probation and suspension of sentence, and all of that gets changed."
Babin is among other district attorneys across the state who are sounding the alarm about this situation.
In August, the WBRZ Investigative Unit showed you David Chenevert was granted parole after killing two people and was sentenced to life. He was released from prison.
In the past 30 days, Babin said two cases have come up in his jurisdiction where one man, Lucas Roddy, was denied parole. Another individual Jerome Derricks is set to have a hearing next month.
"A lady who was a waitress was leaving work, had car trouble and the guy who was going to help her jump her car off brutally beat her to death with a tire tool," Babin said.
Next month the parole board will decide if he gets a shot at freedom despite receiving a life sentence.
"We barely have the resources to keep up with the new stuff, to have them go back and revisit these cases where appeals have been exhausted," Babin said. "It's over."
In addition to reforms that Babin said need to be made to keep the streets safe, he believes there also needs to be some truth in sentencing.
"When someone leaves that courtroom with a 30-year sentence or a 40-year sentence, we need a calculation to put out to the public about what will be served," Babin said. "That is transparency... if someone gets life imprisonment, and it's not really life, victims and the public should be told."
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