Outgoing Democrat Governor Pardons 56 Inmates, Including 40 Convicted Murderers

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Hailey Gomez General Assignment Reporter
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Outgoing Democrat Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has pardoned 56 inmates, including 40 convicted murderers, since October, according to Fox News.

In recent months, the governor has made an effort to reduce the population of the state’s overcrowded prisons, with 1,094 people per 100,000 being in some form of incarceration, according to Fox News.  (RELATED: Louisiana Legislature Passes Bill Banning COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements In Schools) 

“For as long as I can remember, Louisiana reflexively responded to an increase in crime by putting more people in prison and keeping them there longer,” Edwards told in an interview this week. “We’ve never been made safer as a result of that.”

“There is no data to suggest that an increase in crime here was because of the reforms.”

Among Edwards’ pardons, however, are inmates who have been convicted of arson, robbery and drug dealing, according to court documents obtained by Fox 8. The 40 convicted murderers who were pardoned from all over the state were found guilty of both first and second-degree murder, the outlet reported. (RELATED: Meet The GOP Candidates Looking To Take Back The Governor’s Mansion In Louisiana)

Notably, one of the released convicts, Frederick Kirkatrick, was convicted in 1982 by a jury in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana for first-degree murder, Fox 8 reported. Kirkatrick, along with an accomplice, had brutally killed Steve Joseph Radoste in his home after robbing him and then set his house on fire, according to the outlet. The jury agreed unanimously on the recommended death penalty, citing aggravating circumstances, Fox 8 reported.

Edwards was sworn into Louisiana’s executive office in 2016, serving as governor for nearly eight years. Edwards’s office has stated that he is not definitively ruling out politics forever, according to Greater Baton Rouge Business Report.  

Louisiana has one of the highest incarceration rates of the country, according to U.S. News & World Report.