Volume 53

Will the Opportunity for Parole Equate to the De Facto Opportunity for a New Life?

by Leigh Ainsworth

Henry Montgomery was seventeen-years-old in 1963 when he was arrested for the murder of Sheriff’s Deputy Charles Hurt in Scotlandville, Louisiana. Scotlandville police had spent the day rounding up black men in the area after a witness identified the deputy’s killer as black, tall, and slender. An all white jury initially found Montgomery guilty and sentenced him to death, but the Louisiana Supreme Court later ruled that a new trial was required because of the possibility of racial discrimination during the trial. At his second trial, Montgomery was again found guilty, but he was ultimately sentenced to life without the possibility of parole (“LWOP”) rather than death.

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