Louisiana’s legislature has been revising the state’s criminal law system in order to shed the state’s informal title as the “incarceration capital of the world. One of the central features of the legislative program is the reduction in prison sentences and shortening of incarceration periods for convicted criminals. Critics of these changes were given another argument when a convict given early release under the new laws was arrested on suspicion of two felonies five days after his discharge from prison.
The suspect had been imprisoned after being convicted for auto theft. His sentence was reduced (although no one seems certain of the length of the reduction) under the new laws. Five days after his release, he was arrested for allegedly attempting to rob two construction workers at gunpoint.
According to police, the suspect allegedly approached two men working on a garage roof. Police say that he wielded a gun and demanded money from the worker who was on the ground. The suspect then allegedly attempted to coerce the worker on the roof to leave his wallet there. According to police, the suspect fled when he realized that neither man had any money. The suspect was arrested a few days later when police spotted him allegedly trying to break into an automobile. The suspect was charged with counts of armed robbery and attempted armed robbery.
Police officials expressed frustration in encountering the suspect so soon after his release from prison. The purpose of the new laws is reduction of Louisiana’s prison population, and criminals who were deemed nonviolent were among the first to be discharged. Even supporters of the law conceded that some recidivism was likely. As this case demonstrates, the success of the state’s new approach to incarceration remains in doubt.
Source: The New Orleans Advocate, “Kenner cops arrest armed robbery suspect 5 days after he was released early from prison,” Ramon Antonio Vargas, Nov. 9, 2017