LOUISIANA: This summer, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) signed a bill that significantly decreases criminal penalties for marijuana possession in the state. But for some prisoners already serving time on marijuana charges, the state’s old draconian drug laws continue to apply.
Take the case of Bernard Noble. A 49-year-old father of seven, Noble is serving more than 13 years behind bars in Jackson Parish Correctional Center in Jonesboro. His crime: being caught with the equivalent of two joints’ worth of marijuana in 2010. He has no chance of parole. The state Board of Pardons and Parole rejected Noble’s petition for clemency in May simply because he hasn’t served 10 or more years in prison yet — state law requires inmates to have been in custody of the Department of Corrections for a minimum of 10 years before they’ll consider an inmate’s application for clemency.