In the summer of 1973, Forest Hammond, known as “Saint,” was supposed to be receiving his high school diploma. His friends and family expected that he would be looking forward to college life and possibly dreaming of a career as a professional athlete. He wasn’t. Instead, on the very day of his class’s graduation, Hammond was being initiated into a drastically different reality—he was being badly beaten in the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison by twelve inmates.
The course of this young man’s promising life changed with one mistake: the football hero with the athletic scholarship overestimated himself. In attempting to dissolve a volatile situation, he failed and became entangled in a violent crime leading to a prison sentence for murder. Saint went on to serve time in Angola, one of the most violent penitentiaries in the country. His mistake would cost him six years nine months three days and eight hours. His shot at a shorter sentence came after learning about a program allowing him to work as a servant in the governor’s mansion in exchange for a possible chance at freedom. After serving as a butler for Gov. Edwin W. Edwards for years, he obtained the coveted gold letter of pardon. His experiences in Angola and the mansion greatly affected him and changed the direction of his life. His story is both cautionary and inspirational, while exposing an outdated custom that continues to be in the headlines as controversial.
About the Author
After being pardoned, Forest C. Hammond changed his name to Forest C. Hammond-Martin, Sr. He has become a writer, boxing instructor, and family-man since returning to the outside world. He is devoted to mentoring youth and has received many certificates of appreciation for his presentation with the R(eality) A(t) W(ork) Tour Training Program addressing youth at risk for criminal behavior. Married with six children and seven grandchildren, Martin lives in Alexandria, Louisiana.
About the Editor
Tom Aswell has worked as a reporter and editor of multiple Louisiana newspapers including the Baton Rouge Advocate, the Monroe News-Star, and the Ruston Daily Leader. He lives with his wife, Betty, in Denham Springs, Louisiana.
WITH EDWARDS IN THE GOVERNOR’S MANSION:
From Angola to Free Man
By Forest C. Hammond-Martin, Sr.
Edited by Tom Aswell
BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Criminals & Outlaws
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Discrimination & Race Relations
TRUE CRIME / Murder / General
352 pp. 6 x 9
33 b/w photos