Signature pieces of criminal justice revamp head to governor
BATON ROUGE - Signature pieces of Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards' planned criminal justice overhaul are headed to the governor's desk, with one measure only narrowly scraping through the Senate.
Three bills shrinking sentences and expanding probation and parole opportunities for some offenders, mainly those jailed for non-violent crimes, won final passage Tuesday with Senate votes.
The most contentious proposal, which expands parole eligibility to some violent offenders, passed by one vote. It was seconds away from failing before Sen. Dan "Blade" Morrish, who was wrapped in conversation with a colleague, cast the deciding vote of approval.
Six of 10 Edwards-backed criminal justice bills now await the governor's signature. If all 10 pass, the governor expects a significant decline in prison population over the next decade.