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Nearly nine months after he was scheduled to be released, Bobby Sneed remains incarcerated. Louisiana parole officials refuse to release Sneed despite two separate court decisions ordering his release. 

Civil rights attorney Scott Hechinger tweeted a thread about Sneed’s case Monday, amplifying news of the latest injustice and highlighting the uncertainty of where the older man would be spending his 75th birthday this weekend.  

“A judge has twice ordered Bobby Sneed to be released,” Hechinger Tweeted. “Judge acknowledged warden & Parole Board are openly breaking the law. 3 days ago, finally, he was released. While waiting for pickup, parole issued an arrest warrant for a new fake contraband charge. Caged again.” 

As reported by The Lens, the Louisiana Supreme Court determined that a decision earlier this year to rescind Sneed’s parole was impermissible. From all information provided, and by the parole board’s own admission, there is not a valid reason or legitimate public interest in keeping Sneed incarcerated any longer. And yet, Louisiana officials refuse to release him. (Read the full article here).  

Parole board officials pointed to the discretionary nature of the decision to award parole as a justification for the arbitrary actions taken to keep Sneed incarcerated. His case highlights the concerns incarcerated people and advocates have about the discretionary nature of some parole processes.

An analysis by Reason explained that the parole board failed to follow basic legal principles such as the right to due process. The outlet also reported Sneed’s legal team was not permitted to review alleged evidence used to justify keeping him locked up. (Read the full article here).  

In an interview with Reason, Louisiana Parole Project Deputy Director Kerry Myers told Reason the delay in releasing Sneed is a waste of taxpayer dollars. 

“I don’t believe that there’s any threat to public safety….By keeping him incarcerated, at his age and with [his] medical conditions, it’s more costly with very finite taxpayer dollars to keep him [locked up] than to help him get substance abuse treatment,” Myers told Reason. “What’s at stake is: What’s the best use of resources?” 

The Louisiana Parole Project supports efforts to reform the process for pardons and parole and helps people who have been given extreme sentences. One effort led by the Parole Project is the “Forgotten Men Project,” which seeks to liberate incarcerated people who were told they were eligible for parole after serving ten years and six months but have remained inside for decades.

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