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APRIL 26, 2007


                                                  LOUISIANA
        I.        Automatic Restoration of Rights:

                  •    Right to vote “may be suspended” while a person is “under an order of
                       imprisonment for conviction of a felony.” La. Const. art. I, § 10.
                       Disenfranchisement applies to people on parole and also to those whose
                       prison sentence suspended. See Rosamund v. Alexander, 846 So. 2d 829 (La.
                       App. 3d Cir. 2003). “Full rights of citizenship shall be restored upon
                       termination of state and federal supervision following conviction for any
                       offense.” Id. § 20. This provision restores only the “basic rights” of
                       citizenship (voting, holding office), not privileges (liquor license). Right to
                       run for elective office is restored 15 years after completion of sentence even if
                       not pardoned. Id. § 10 (C). Under La. Code Crim. Proc. Ann. art. 401(A)(5),
                       the right to serve on a jury is not restored unless the person is pardoned. See
                       also State v. Baxter, 357 So. 2d 271 (La. 1978) (includes federal convictions).
                       See Helen Ginger Berrigan, Executive Clemency, First-Offender Pardons,
                       Automatic Restoration of Rights, 62 La. L. Rev. 49 (2001).

                  •    First offender pardon - A first offender (defined in La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §
                       15:572(C) as a person “convicted within this state of a felony but never
                       previously convicted of a felony” under federal law or the law of any state or
                       country) “shall be pardoned automatically upon completion of his sentence
                       without a recommendation of the Board of Pardons and without action by the
                       governor.” La. Const. art. IV, § 5(E)(1); La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 15:572(B)(1).
                       Entitlement to first offender pardon is guaranteed by the constitution and may
                       not be infringed by statute. Op. La. Att’y Gen. No. 04-0080 (2005). It does
                       not depend upon having paid court costs. Id.

                       o Eligibility: Applies to state convictions on or after January 1, 1975. Since
                         1999 amendment to Constitution, first offender pardon available only to
                         persons convicted of “non-violent crime, or convicted of aggravated
                         battery, second degree battery, aggravated assault, mingling harmful
                         substances, aggravated criminal damage to property, purse snatching,
                         extortion, or illegal use of weapons or dangerous instrumentalities”. La.
                         Const. art. IV, § 5(E)(1) as amended by Acts 1999, No. 1398, § 1,
                         approved Oct. 23, 1999, eff. Nov. 25, 1999. All others must apply for full
                         pardon.

                       o Effect: First offender pardon restores “all rights of citizenship and
                         franchise,” La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 15:572(D), but does not restore
                         privileges such as liquor license. See State v. Adams, 355 So. 2d 917 (La.
                         1978). Unlike a gubernatorial pardon, does not preclude use in subsequent
                         prosecution, or use to disqualify for occupational licensing. § 15:572(E).

             Margaret Colgate Love, Relief from the Collateral Consequences of a Criminal Conviction, April 2007
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           •    Firearms disability (applicable to any person convicted of a crime of violence
                or a drug offense) ends ten years after completion of sentence so long as no
                other felony conviction occurs during that period. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §
                14:95.1(C)(1). A Governor’s pardon will restore firearm privileges prior to
                the ten years, but a first offender pardon will not. State v. Wiggins, 432 So. 2d
                234 (La. 1983).


II.        Discretionary Restoration Mechanisms:

           A. Executive pardon:
                •    Authority: “Upon favorable recommendation of the Board of Pardons,”
                     the Governor may pardon “those convicted of offenses against the state.”
                     La. Const. art. IV, § 5(E)(1); La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 15:572(A).

                •    Administration: Board consists of five appointees of the Governor
                     confirmed by Senate, whose terms run concurrent with Governor’s, and
                     one of which “may” be chosen from a victims group. See
                     http://www.doc.louisiana.gov/Pardon/boardofpardons.htm (providing
                     general information on the Board of Pardons). Governor chooses Chair.
                     La. Const. art. IV, § 5(E)(2); La. Rev. Stat. Ann. 15:572.1.

                •    Eligibility: Applicant for pardon must have completed sentence, including
                     court costs. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 15:572(A); see Op. La. Att’y Gen. No.
                     04-0080 (2005). The Rules of the Louisiana Board are posted at
                     http://www.doc.louisiana.gov/Pardon/rules97.htm. The Louisiana
                     Supreme Court held in 2006 that a pardon issued by the governor of the
                     state of Louisiana was sufficient to restore the right to hold a municipal or
                     state office to one convicted of a federal felony offense. Malone v. Shyne,
                     937 So 2d 343 (La. 2006). See also 1978-79 Op. Att’y Gen. 103 (No. 79-
                     787)(1980).*

                •    Effect: Where convicted person receives full executive pardon by
                     governor upon recommendation of Board of Pardons (“Gold Seal”
                     Pardon), he is restored to "status of innocence." State v. Riser, 30,201 (La.
                     App. 2 Cir. 12/12/97). Cannot be used to enhance punishment for
                     subsequent crime, but may be used t0o impeach. (Automatic first offender

*
  In holding that the phrase “offenses against the state” in art. IV, § 5 includes federal offenses, the court
referred to “the historical practice of Louisiana governors to issue pardons to federal felons. See La. Atty.
Gen. Op. 103, 97-878 (3/13/80), which recites the fact that Louisiana governors issued 87 pardons to
persons convicted of federal felonies in the 15 years preceding 1980.” 937 So. 2d at 351. Prior to the
Shyne decision, the Board of Pardons had announced in 1996 and again in 2005 that it would no longer
accept applications from federal offenders. See
http://www.tuscaloosanews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050811/APN/508110979&cachetime=3&te
mplate=dateline.

      Margaret Colgate Love, Relief from the Collateral Consequences of a Criminal Conviction, April 2007
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               pardon does not preclude use in subsequent prosecution, or use to
               disqualify for occupational licensing.)

          •    Process: See La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 15:572.4. The Board meets at
               regularly scheduled dates, see Rule 1(A) of Board Rules at
               http://www.doc.louisiana.gov/Pardon/rules97.htm. All applications must
               be made on official form, posted at
               http://www.doc.louisiana.gov/Pardon/APPLICATION.pdf. “Before
               considering the application for pardon of any person, the board shall give
               written notice of the date and time at which the application will be heard
               and considered, at least thirty days prior to the hearing,” to the district
               attorney, the victim (if any), and any other person who has indicted an
               interest. § 15:572.4(B). In addition, applicant must notify DA and victims
               of his application, and place public notice in newspaper on three separate
               days in a 30-day period. Information relating to pardon request must be
               made available to the public. § 15:572.4(C). The district attorney, injured
               victim, spouse or next of kin, and any other persons who desire to do so
               shall be given a reasonable opportunity to attend the hearing, and both the
               DA and victim must be given an opportunity to respond to the application,
               either telephonically or in person. § 15:572.4(B)(2) and (3). See also
               Rule 6(C) of the Board Rules. No more than three persons may speak in
               favor of application, and no more than three against. All actions of the
               Board require the favorable vote of at least four members of the Board.
               See Rule 1(C).

               In recent years the legislature has erected more and more procedural
               barriers to pardon, generally permitting greater public scrutiny of process,
               and making formal provision for input by officials and victims. Because
               favorable Board recommendation is necessary for Governor to act, recent
               amendments create obstacles to pardon. See generally Berrigan article,
               supra.

          •    Frequency of Grants: In addition to First Offender Pardons, Board hears
               20-25 cases of pardon and commutation every two months, denies 3/4 of
               them. Case decisions listed at
               http://www.doc.louisiana.gov/Pardon/DECISION/Decisions.htm. While
               Governor Foster pardoned a number of persons at the end of his term,
               Governor Blanco has pardoned only one person since taking office, a
               community activist convicted in 1964 of attempting to integrate
               segregated swimming pools, who later became a prison chaplain. Source:
               Louisiana Attorney General’s Office; Michelle Milhollon, “Blanco to
               Pardon Activist Woman Arrested in '63 for Integration Attempt,” The
               Advocate, January 15, 2005 (A 1).

          •    Contact: Chip Coulter
               Office of the Attorney General

Margaret Colgate Love, Relief from the Collateral Consequences of a Criminal Conviction, April 2007
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               225-326-6405
               coulterc@ag.state.la.us

        Judicial sealing or expungement of adult felony convictions: La. Rev. Stat.
        Ann. § 44:9 provides for expungement of both misdemeanor and felony charges
        and convictions. "Expungement" means removal of a record from public access
        but does not include destruction of the record except in limited circumstances
        described below. “An expunged record is confidential, but remains available
        for use by law enforcement agencies, criminal justice agencies,” and various
        health-related licensing boards. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 44:9(F)-(G).

               •    Misdemeanor arrests: Under 44:9(A) the record of misdemeanor
                    arrests (ex. DWI) may be expunged by the court if 1) The time
                    limitation for the institution of prosecution on the offense has expired,
                    and no prosecution has been instituted; or 2) prosecution has been
                    instituted, and such proceedings have been finally disposed of by
                    dismissal, sustaining of a motion to quash, or acquittal. Records
                    expunged under this section must be “destroyed” and “no notations or
                    references have been retained in the agency's central repository which
                    will or might lead to the inference that any record ever was on file with
                    any agency or law enforcement office.”
               •    Felony arrests: Under 44:9(B) felony arrests may be expunged if the
                    district attorney declines to prosecute, or the prosecution has been
                    instituted, and such proceedings have been finally disposed of by
                    acquittal, dismissal, or sustaining a motion to quash; and “the record of
                    arrest and prosecution for the offense is without substantial probative
                    value as a prior act for any subsequent prosecution.” Arresting agency
                    may keep a copy of the record for investigative purposes.
               •    Felony and misdemeanor convictions: Under §§ 44:9(E)(1) and (3),
                    convictions (except sex offenses) dismissed pursuant to deferred
                    sentencing options provided under Articles 893 and 894 may be
                    expunged upon successful completion of probation. Court may also
                    order destruction of misdemeanor records, ex. for DWI and sex
                    offenses, but destruction of felony records prohibited.

    Deferred Adjudication: See La. Rev. Stat. Ann., Code of Criminal Procedure, Art.
      893: “When it appears that the best interest of the public and of the defendant
      will be served,” court may place non-violent offenders (up to two felony
      offenses) on probation, at the successful conclusion of which charges are
      dismissed. Expungement may then be sought under 44:9(A) or (B). Offense
      may still be used as predicate offense. Sex offenses involving children and
      serious drug trafficking offenses excepted.




Margaret Colgate Love, Relief from the Collateral Consequences of a Criminal Conviction, April 2007
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       B. Administrative Restoration: The right to possess a firearm may be restored after
          completion of sentence by the chief law enforcement officer of the parish in
          which offender resides. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 14:95.1(c)(2).

           LA Bureau of Criminal Identification may purge records of individuals over 60
           who have not been arrested for 15 years. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 15:586.


III.    Nondiscrimination in Licensing and Employment: N/A

        La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 37:2950: A person may not be disqualified, or held
        ineligible to practice or engage in any licensed trade, occupation, or profession
        “solely because of” a prior criminal record unless conviction involves a felony,
        and where such felony conviction “directly relates to the position of employment
        sought, or to the specific occupation, trade or profession for which the license,
        permit or certificate is sought.” Any decision denying employment or license
        based “in whole or in part on conviction of any crime” shall explicitly state in
        writing the reasons for the decision. Any complaints concerning violations of this
        Section shall be adjudicated in accordance with generally applicable procedures
        for administrative and judicial review. A number of regulatory and employing
        agencies are exempted, including law enforcement, medical and nursing licensing
        boards, state bar, education, state racing and athletic commissions, architects,
        embalmers and funeral directors, and state board of elementary and secondary
        education. Public employment is generally covered, except for law enforcement
        agencies and the office of alcohol and tobacco control of the Department of
        Revenue.




   Margaret Colgate Love, Relief from the Collateral Consequences of a Criminal Conviction, April 2007