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Black man who was serving a life sentence for stealing hedge clippers granted parole

Posted at 4:58 AM, Oct 16, 2020

NEW ORLEANS — A Black man whose life sentence for stealing hedge clippers in a home burglary drew scathing criticism from the chief justice of Louisiana's Supreme Court has been granted parole.

Louisiana's high court had denied release for 63-year-old Fair Wayne Bryant earlier this year for the 1997 burglary that netted him a set of hedge clippers. In dissent, Chief Justice Bernette Johnson said the habitual offender law under which Bryant was sentenced was a “modern manifestation” of Jim Crow era laws aimed at jailing Black people for simple crime.

Conditions of Bryant's parole include mandatory attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and community service.