Louisiana advocate for ex-inmates among those pardoned

January 20, 2021 GMT

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A former federal prisoner who operates a Louisiana nonprofit aiding ex-inmates is among those pardoned in the final hours of the Trump administration.

Syrita Steib-Martin’s pardon was announced by the White House early Wednesday.

The Louisiana native pleaded guilty in 2000 to federal charges arising from her role in a burglary and arson at a car dealership in east Texas when she was 19. She was sentenced to 10 years.

After her release from prison, Steib-Martin founded Operation Restoration in New Orleans. The organization provides services for women adjusting to society after leaving prison.


She’s also credited with helping draft legislation prohibiting Louisiana colleges from asking about criminal convictions on admission applications.

Another pardon recipient with a Louisiana connection: Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., better known as the New Orleans-born rapper Lil Wayne. The Grammy-winner was charged in Florida on Nov. 17 with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, a federal offense that carries a potential sentence of up to 10 years in prison. In the pardon, he was praised for his “commitment to a variety of charities, including donations to research hospitals and a host of foodbanks.”