Louisiana Parole Board Votes To Grant Rapper McKinley ‘Mac’ Phipps Clemency
The rapper McKinley Phipps Jr., Who was imprisoned for 21 years and one day for a crime he claims has not committed a crime, may soon be granted amnesty after a unanimous vote by the Louisiana Parole Board which he will be released.
Phipps, better known to hip-hop fans as “Mac”, was decorated in a nightclub in St. Tamar Parish during the 2001 shooting of 19-year-old concertgoer Baron “Bookie” Victor Jr.. Phipps’ legal team has batted after a 30-year sentence Series of investigative reports by former HuffPost reporter David Lohr Exposing the defects in his.
The Louisiana Board of Purdons and Parole recommended Monday that Phipps be immediately qualified for parole. It now goes to the desk of John Bell Edwards (D) of Louisiana Village for sign-off. If approved, Phipps will have to appear before the parole board once.
“Today was a good day. It is like the beginning of the road to freedom, but there are still some more grounds. McKinley’s wife, Angelique Phipps, told HuffPost. “This is a start. One step closer.”
“Not only is it amazing for us, but I believe it also provides hope for those in comparable situations. Our goal is in sight, and we will get to the finish line, ”she said.
While there is no deadline for the governor’s decision, Phipps’ family is optimistic that this will happen quickly while concerns about the proliferation of COVID-19 in prison facilities are high.
“This governor is incredibly impartial. He feels that when it comes to improving the criminal justice system, he is right. “
Angelique was present at Monday’s hearing – held remotely via the chandelier due to the epidemic – as did her husband’s parents, Sheila and McKinley Phipps. Phipps became senior emotional after the board’s decision.
On February 21, 2000, at the time of the shooting, Phipps was 22 years old with No Limit Records. While he was shot and killed by Victor, he was at the club Mercedes in Slidell. Phipps has never been behind bars.
“During her stay at Ellen Hunt Correctional, McKinley has worked as a certified patron for several groups, has been given trustee status, volunteered with mental health and hospice units, president of the Music Association Served as, completed several self-training courses, and began his college studies, ”Angelique said in a statement at Monday’s hearing.
In 2015, a team of lawyers at Spell & Spell took on Phipps’ case after a series of problems with his faith were found following the 2015 HofPost investigation of Lofer. Prosecution did not use forensic evidence and failed to admit Another man’s confession. Many witnesses Told huffpost He was pressurized by the authorities to lie. Phipps’ rap song was used against him at trial to portray him as someone capable of a crime.
Buddy Spell and his partners Annie Spell and Tara Zeller Filed an application In 2016 for pardon which was eventually denied. Angelique said that two years ago, Phipps filed a petition himself.
After a lengthy process, during which she “called the parole board office every week”, Angelique was told in December that her husband’s hearing would be held in February.
Spell told HuffPost that it was a deeply emotional day.
“It’s huge. It’s amazing.” I’m screaming and crying. ”
Phipps continues work at a facility in Raceland in Lafourche Parish beginning this month. Releasing Monday for the parole board on the night of the shooting, Phipps recalled seeing a ruckus on the dance floor and hearing a gunshot. He ran to the front door to search for his mother, and they left together, he said, adding that he later learned that a man had been killed.
Russell Baker, Phipps’ close childhood friend who was with him that night, HuffPost, said it had been a long and painful struggle over the years, and he would not feel relieved until he returned his friend with his family can not see.
“It’s basically 21 years of the date that it happened. When it first started, my faith was strong and I basically knew that no innocent person would be sent to prison for life. I knew for a fact that he was innocent, ”Baker said. “My faith in the justice system is a hit.”
He said he would always sympathize with the victim’s family, but this did not happen to his friend.
Eric Nielsen of a University of Richmond and co-author of “Rap on Trial: Race, Lyrics and Gwilt in America” has been part of Phipps’ fight for freedom. Nielsen has operated extensive research The use of the song has been criticized for seeking criminal prosecutions against black artists.
“Everyone is very optimistic that this is the major hurdle ever,” he told HuffPost of Monday’s decision. His entire family is working tirelessly. His parents have been greatly killed by this process. “
But some uncertainty still hangs, he said. “It’s not over until he’s out.”
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