Campaign Surrogate and Deputy Director of the Louisiana Parole Project
Kerry is Deputy Director of Louisiana Parole Project, a nonprofit organization that provides legal representation and residential reentry services to parole eligible persons sentenced to life in prison while children, other eligible life-sentenced persons, and those who have been incarcerated 20 years or more with demonstrable records of rehabilitation. The organization has served more than 100 clients in its three years of operation and none have been rearrested or returned to prison.
In April 1990, Kerry was convicted and sentenced to life without parole for second degree murder, a crime he, the victim’s family, and the investigating detective, among others, steadfastly maintained he did not commit. After fighting for 27 years to establish his innocence, Kerry was unanimously recommended for commutation and immediate release by the Louisiana Board of Pardons and Parole in September 2013. Then-governor Bobby Jindal left office in January 2016 without taking action on his and dozens of other recommendations. Ten months later, on October 15, Kerry received a second unanimous recommendation and, on December 21, 2016, it was signed by Governor John Bel Edwards and he was freed.
While incarcerated, Kerry, who has a degree in Communications/Journalism, edited the national award-winning Angolite
Kerry is also a contributing author on the critically-acclaimed “The Meaning of Life,” with Marc Mauer and Ashley Nellis of the Washington, D.C.-based policy group, The Sentencing Project. He has guest lectured at LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communications and the University of Michigan Law School, and has spoken extensively on justice issues and the media. His articles have been published by the Marshall Project, the Bayou Brief, 64 Parishes and others. He continues to consult, write and speak nationally about justice issues.
“To me, justice is the law mixed with mercy, fairness and equity. Something we have to relearn to do.”