Former No Limit Records rapper Mac, born McKinley Phipps, Jr, appears to be inching closer to freedom after Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards granted him clemency. As previously reported in February, the Louisiana Board of Pardons and Parole recommended that Mac be made eligible immediately for parole. The governor’s office confirmed with the HuffPost on Thursday, April 8, that Mac had been granted clemency.
Mac, has been in prison for 21 years after being convicted of manslaughter in the shooting of 19-year-old Barron “Bookie” Victor Jr. in 2001. The Louisiana rapper has proclaimed his innocence of the crime and numerous investigations and documentaries have been released over the years focusing on the numerous flaws in the case and how the rapper was railroaded. Mac has already served over 60 percent of his 30-year sentence.
“We are nearing the finish line in a long-fought battle in securing McKinley’s freedom,” his wife, Angelique Phipps, said in a statement to HuffPost. “While he still has the upcoming parole hearing and no definitive release date, we are relieved, grateful, and looking forward to the future.”
The New Orleans MC must now appear before the parole board once more for a hearing set for June 22 before receiving a release date.
“As you are likely aware, many clemency applications are submitted each year and only a small number are approved. This letter is to inform you that I have granted your application,” the governor wrote in a March 29 letter addressed to Mac, obtained by HuffPost. “I congratulate you on your efforts to turn your life around and remind you that it is up to you to make the most out of this opportunity.”
Mac released two critically acclaimed albums on No Limit, Shell Shocked and World War III, and was often referred to as a southern Nas. He was part of Master P’s group The 504 Boyz alongside Silkk The Shocker, Mystikal, C-Murder, Krazy and Magic as well.