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Black man serving life sentence for stealing hedge clippers granted parole

A Black man in Louisiana serving life in prison for stealing hedge clippers more than two decades ago was granted parole — months after the state’s Supreme Court declined to review his sentence.

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The Board of Pardons and Committee on Parole voted Thursday to release Fair Wayne Bryant, 63, records show. He walked out of prison later that day after serving more than 20 years at the state penitentiary in Angola, his attorney said.

Bryant will enter into a program in Baton Rouge that helps prisoners adjust to life after they are released. Eventually, he will be allowed to live with his brother in Shreveport.

Under the conditions of his parole, Bryant will have a curfew, must attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and complete community service.

The Louisiana American Civil Liberties Union called the board’s decision to grant parole a “long-overdue victory.”

Bryant was 38 when he was arrested in January 1997 for taking a pair of clippers from a carport storeroom at a home in Shreveport. The homeowner was alerted to the theft and chased Bryant off.

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