Parole Project’s Forgotten Men Initiative Brings Home the First 10/6 Lifers

WORKING IN CONJUNCTION WITH NEW ORLEANS DISTRICT ATTORNEY Jason Williams and his civil rights division, Parole Project successfully won the release of the first two 10/6 lifers who, at the time of their conviction, were told they would serve a maximum of 10 years and six months but who remained in prison for more than 50 years.

Many of Louisiana’s longest-serving inmates pleaded guilty based on this promise. The 10/6 lifers are a group whose offenses were committed prior to 1973. For 50 years it was the commonly accepted practice, provided for by law, to commute a life sentence upon recommendation from the warden to 10 years and six months. When the state changed its policy in 1973, despite the law and the expectation, the 10/6ers were denied release. “The promises made to these men were absolutely broken by the state,” Williams said after the hearing. His office is currently reviewing additional motions filed by Parole Project attorneys for other 10/6 lifers convicted in Orleans Parish who we expect will also be resentenced and released.