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Petitioning Governor John Bel Edwards

Grant McKinley Phipps Jr. Clemency

McKinley “Mac” Phipps has been in prison for 15 years for a crime he did not commit. Phipps was a New Orleans rap artist with no criminal record. In 2000, while Phipps was preparing to perform at a local club, a fight broke out and ended in the tragic shooting death of a young man. Instead of doing a thorough investigation, the police pegged McKinley Phipps as their scapegoat. He has been behind bars ever since. 

Since there was no physical evidence linking Phipps to the crime, the police used his explicit rap lyrics to portray him as a violent person capable of murder. Later, independent investigations found that the police coerced eyewitnesses to say Phipps was guilty. Some were even threatened with blame for the murder if they didn’t implicate him. Many have since rescinded their accusations.

The misconduct of investigators led to Phipps’ conviction and 30 years-to-life sentence. In recent years, a number of organizations have further investigated his case, and have supported his innocence. Phipps is an innocent man, and he deserves clemency.

During Phipps’ 15-year incarceration, he has been a model inmate. He has served as head of the music program at Elayn Hunt Correctional Center, and recently participated in the cleanup effort after deadly tornadoes ripped through southern Louisiana. Phipps has been the recipient of numerous awards, including a humanitarian award, and he routinely counsels other inmates. It is my belief that he has the potential to succeed if released, and will again become an asset to society.

Please join me in asking Governor Edwards to pardon McKinley “Mac” Phipps. Sign and share.

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    John Bel Edwards


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