Louisiana's Parole Board on Thursday denied a medical furlough to aging and ailing convicted killer Clyde Giddens, saying he should serve out his life sentence for a grisly murder in Red River Parish more than 50 years ago.
The board's vote was unanimous.
During the hearing in Baton Rouge Thursday morning, Dennis Bamburg testified about how Giddens' grisly murder of his mother Earline Bamburg has affected his family.
At one point, Bamburg jerked a thumb towards Giddens -- who appeared via videoconference -- saying, "He's asking for mercy, but my mother never got mercy."
Bamburg's daughter, Angel Salter, struggled through her prepared statement amid suppressed sobs.
"I never knew my grandmother, but I've loved her all my life," Salter said.
The 78-year-old Giddens, who pleaded guilty to the 1963 murder and dismemberment of Earline Bamburg, sought to be moved from Angola State Penitentiary to a health-care facility under the state's expanded use of medical furloughs for inmates in declining health.
It's part of efforts to reduce the state's prison population, concentrate more on alternatives to incarceration and save tens of millions of dollars each year.
U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) issued the following statement after the board this morning rejected Giddens’ request.
“I am thankful that common sense prevailed and that the Louisiana Committee on Parole prioritized public safety and the victim’s suffering. Mr. Giddens needs to remain in prison until he dies despite Gov. Edwards’ efforts to free dangerous inmates through his criminal justice reform package” said Sen. Kennedy. “My prayers are with Earline Bamburg’s family. I’m sorry that they had to relive this.”
The 78-year-old Giddens, who pleaded guilty to the 1963 murder and dismemberment of Earline Bamburg of Red River Parish, sought to be moved from Angola State Penitentiary to a health-care facility under the state's expanded use of medical furloughs for inmates in declining health. It's part of efforts to reduce the state's prison population, concentrate more on alternatives to incarceration and save tens of millions of dollars each year.
Bamburg's family attended Thursday's hearing in Baton Rouge and told the Parole Board they were opposed to Giddens' release.
Officials at the Department of Corrections recommended medical furlough. He was among nine inmates recommended for the release.
Giddens would have been sent to a yet-to-be-determined medical facility.
Bamburg was 36 when she was killed. Prosecutors said Giddens, who was AWOL from the Navy, went to Red River Parish looking to kill his estranged wife.
He wound up killing Bamburg, who he blamed for the breakup of his marriage. Her body was burned and dismembered, with parts fed to dogs. Giddens pleaded guilty and received a life prison term.
Increased use of medical furloughs is part of the state's criminal justice reform measures, which are intended to save the state about $260 million over the next decade by reducing the state's prison population by 10 percent. More efforts will be put into rehabilitation programs designed to reduce recidivism rates. Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the country.