After a Long Struggle, Henri Lyles Sentenced to Only 12 Years from Life Without Parole: A Victory Against Louisiana’s Draconian Sentencing Regime

Photo Courtesy of Claire Anderson

In October 2019, PJI won an impactful victory at the Louisiana Supreme Court which reversed Henri Lyles life without parole sentence and led several other LWOP sentences to be overturned. Today in court, Mr. Lyles was facing a 20 year sentence, but instead the court sentenced him to 12. He will now be released as early as February 2026.


PJI, led by Attorney Cormac Boyle, was honored to be able to share Mr. Lyles’ life story — his struggles and triumphs — with the Court. The court was able to learn about Mr. Lyles’ upbringing, the loss of his child, and other challenges he has faced and overcome. Elise Gonzalez from PJI testified to the work that Mr. Lyles has done with PJI while incarcerated. In addition, Troy Rhodes from Total Community Action (TCA), a New Orleans re-entry program,  explained to the court that Mr. Lyles would be the perfect candidate for their employment, housing, and counseling assistance programs.


In rendering the ruling, the Court noted that they had learned a lot about Mr. Lyles and was not inclined to give him anything approaching the maximum. We are grateful. PJI is committed to addressing Louisiana’s addiction to incarceration, its overly harsh sentences, and its inhumane use of life without parole.

After a Long Struggle, Henri Lyles Sentenced to Only 12 Years from Life Without Parole: A Victory Against Louisiana’s Draconian Sentencing Regime
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