death penalty

Law Professor and former Louisiana Democratic Party Communications Director Susan Nelson and LSU Political Scientist Jeff Sadow exchange views on Gov. Edwards and President Trump as they survey the political landscape in Baton Rouge and across the nation.

 

Celebrated Paleontologist Steve Brusatte offers new history to a lost world in his book: “The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs.”

 

 


Florida Department of Corrections website / http://www.dc.state.fl.us/orginfo/media/photos.html

A Senate committee has approved abolishing the death penalty in Louisiana. The bill’s author, Sen. JP Morrell (D-New Orleans), says the death penalty is ineffective. 

LSU Shreveport

Political Scientist Jeff Sadow, professor at LSU-Shreveport and columnist for the Advocate, discusses his contention that Louisiana needs to preserve the death penalty.

Senator Dan Claitor is sponsoring legislation to abolish capital punishment in our state. Earlier on this program, Claitor said the death penalty is too expensive and is not an efficient means of thwarting crime in society.


State Senator Dan Claitor of Baton Rouge
Sue Lincoln

State Senator Dan Claitor of Baton Rouge is co-authoring a bill proposing to abolish the death penalty in Louisiana. The prohibition on the death penalty would take effect after July 30th.


The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday dealt a major blow to death penalty opponents, upholding the use of a controversial drug as part of a three-drug execution cocktail. The vote was 5-4, with unusually passionate and sometimes bitter opinions from the majority and dissenting justices.

Nebraska's Legislature voted Wednesday to abolish the death penalty, overturning Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts' veto. The state's unicameral legislature overwhelmingly approved the measure in a series of three previous votes.

The repeal comes as other states have experienced complications with new lethal-injection cocktails. But Americans overall still support the practice.

Support for the death penalty has slowly fallen over the past couple of decades, from a high of 80 percent in favor in the mid-1990s to just over 60 percent currently, according to Gallup.

Lethal injection was the grim subject before the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday. Specifically at issue: whether the drug combinations currently used to execute convicted murderers in some states are unconstitutionally cruel.

The issue comes to the court after three botched executions over the past year.

Last month, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert signed a bill bringing back the firing squad as a method of execution. The state abandoned firing squads in 2004 but now, it has returned as the backup option — partly because of a shortage of lethal injection drugs, the state's default execution method.

Utah is now the only state in the U.S. that authorizes execution by firing squad.

When Courtney Lockhart was tried for murder in Alabama, the jury unanimously recommended a life sentence, but the judge overrode that recommendation and sentenced Lockhart to death instead. Now the convicted murderer is asking the state Supreme Court to examine Alabama's unique process of judicial override.

Alabama is an outlier. It's the only state in which judges routinely override jury decisions not to impose the death penalty.

In 1977, death row inmate Gary Mark Gilmore chose to be executed by a firing squad. Gilmore was strapped to a chair at the Utah State Prison, and five officers shot him.

The media circus that ensued prompted a group of lawmakers in nearby Oklahoma to wonder if there might be a better way to handle executions. They approached Dr. Jay Chapman, the state medical examiner at the time, who proposed using three drugs, based loosely on anesthesia procedures at the time: one drug to knock out the inmates, one to relax or paralyze them, and a final drug that would stop their hearts.

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