Source: McKinley Phipps/Instagram
At the age of 22, McKinley “Mac” Phipps was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
After years of appeals, reported intimidation by prosecutors, and an outcry of public support, McKinley “Mac” Phipps is a free man. The former No Limit rapper was unanimously granted parole on Tuesday morning by the Louisiana Board of Pardons and Committee on Parole. Mac was sentenced to a 30-year bid in prison after a fatal shooting in a nightclub in 2000. Phipps has adamantly maintained his innocence throughout his sentence.
“It feels great to be home,” Mac wrote on Instagram earlier this week. “Thank you to all the fans and friends who’ve shown me love over the years.”
Former label boss Master P shared his well wishes. “Welcome home soldier,” he wrote on Instagram. “Let God guide you on this next chapter.”
Phipps’ case gained renewed interest after former Huffington Post reporter David Lohr revealed confessions from bodyguards and five witnesses, who signed affidavits saying they were ignored or coerced into false testimony. The witnesses came forward after former District Attorney Walter Reed left his position. Two years later, the prosecutor himself was sentenced to four years in prison for corruption and fraud.
Numerous legal loopholes kept Phipps behind bars. In 2016, a previous application for parole was rejected. After the Supreme Court decided not to retroactively apply the ruling of Ramos vs. Louisiana, the law that makes split verdicts (non-unanimous jury convictions) unconstitutional. At the time of Phipps’ conviction, Louisiana was one of just two states that allowed split verdicts. In February, Phipps was finally granted clemency.
Now that he’s home, Phipps will have a 9 PM to 6 AM curfew and be forced to stay away from venues that serve alcohol. He will be required to do six hours of community service and meet with a parole officer weekly for the first few months. However for now, Phipps and his wife Angelique are just happy to be beginning a new chapter in life.
“We feel deeply relieved & blessed to have McKinley home,” she told HuffPost. “This has been a long time coming and we look forward to this next chapter of life.”