Legislation that would require the Pardon Board to reflect the racial, gender, economic and geographic features of the state’s population died Wednesday in a Louisiana House committee.
The House Committee on the Administration of Criminal Justice voted 7-4 in favor of involuntarily deferring House Bill 130.
HB130’s sponsor, state Rep. Patricia Smith, said she was offended that the Governor’s Office opposed the proposal.
The Pardon Board makes recommendations to the governor on requests for sentence commutations and the restoration of hunting rights and other issues.
“To have a governor or anyone else … say my appointments do not have to reflect the population of the citizenry of the state concerns me,” said Smith, D-Baton Rouge.
The committee’s chairman, state Rep. Joseph Lopinto, objected to the proposal.
Lopinto, R-Metairie, said the governor puts the best people he can find on the board.
He said race and other factors should not matter.