Covering Louisiana

Dec 31, 2013 7:29 AM by AP

Inmate sues governor & DA over new informant law

GRETNA, La. (AP) - A man serving life in prison as a habitual offender is challenging a new state law that lets judges reduce sentences for prison informants who help unrelated criminal investigations.

The Times-Picayune reports that 51-year-old Craig Parent contends the law violates the state constitution's separation of powers by giving judges authority belonging to the executive branch.

Parent acted as his own lawyer in suing Gov. Bobby Jindal and Jefferson Parish District Attorney Paul Connick Jr. in state court in Gretna.

In July, a judge there ruled that he cannot reduce Parent's sentence because that's up to the state Parole or Pardon boards, which are in the executive branch. The state 5th Circuit Court of Appeal upheld the ruling Dec. 13.

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