WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) sent the following letter to the Louisiana Board of Pardons and Parole regarding convicted murderer Clyde Y. Giddens:
March 14, 2018
Louisiana Board of Pardons and Parole
P.O. Box 94304
Baton Rouge, La. 70802
Dear Board Members:
I write to oppose the early release of convicted murderer Clyde Y. Giddens. It is my understanding that Mr. Giddens will come before the Committee on Parole Thursday from the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, where he is serving a life sentence for the brutal murder of Mrs. Earline Bamburg.
The only reason Mr. Giddens is even afforded the possibility of freedom is because of the early release measures within Gov. John Bel Edwards’ criminal justice reform program. He has not earned a second chance.
Mr. Giddens pleaded guilty in 1964 to Mrs. Bamburg’s murder. Mr. Giddens assaulted Mrs. Bamburg, stabbed her, burned her corpse and hacked off her arms and leg with a saw. Later, he told a law enforcement officer that he laughed as he used the saw and fed her body parts to a stray dog. Mr. Giddens said he got a thrill from watching the dog eat the body parts like they were “hamburger meat.”
At the time of her brutal death, Mrs. Bamburg was 36 years old. Her family generously opted against pursuing the death penalty because they believed a life sentence was for life. Mr. Giddens has repaid their kindness by seeking parole eligibility more than a dozen times.
Gov. Edwards’ so-called criminal justice reform package gave Mr. Giddens an undeserved gift by making limited-mobility offenders eligible for medical treatment furloughs. According to news reports, Louisiana Department of Corrections Secretary James LeBlanc has recommended that Mr. Giddens receive a medical furlough. Mr. Giddens apparently uses a wheelchair. However, he is well enough to grant news interviews and lie about why he is behind bars. Just last year, he told The Washington Post that he was in prison for killing a man during a fight.
A life sentence should be a life sentence, especially when the murder victim suffered the type of indignity that Mrs. Bamburg did. Her family continues to mourn her loss. They suffer further every time Mr. Giddens makes another grasp for freedom. They fervently want him to remain in prison. Their wishes should trump releasing Mr. Giddens purely to save a few nickels on medical expenses.
Thank you for your attention to this issue.
cc: Gov. John Bel Edwards
Louisiana Department of Corrections Secretary James LeBlanc