…as the Bayou State’s Attorney General plans Tuesday to discuss the subject – and what an effective post-facto ban on the use of the death penalty has done to the families of murder victims in Louisiana – with the House Criminal Justice Committee at its hearing.
This is no small subject. A press release from Landry’s office this afternoon…
BATON ROUGE – Attorney General Jeff Landry is partnering with the Louisiana House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee under Committee Chairman Sherman Q. Mack to hold a full Hearing next week on why the State of Louisiana has delayed justice for family members of victims whose killers are still sitting on death row.
Louisiana conducted its last execution in the year 2010, nearly a decade ago. Last year Governor John Bel Edwards legal counsel for the Department of Corrections filed motions in federal court voluntarily agreeing to stay, and delay again, all executions for yet another year.
Witnesses will discuss the issue in front of Members of the Administration of Criminal Justice Committee.
WHO: Louisiana House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee, Sherman Q. Mack Chairman
Attorney General Jeff Landry
Department of Justice Experts on Louisiana’s Death Penalty
WHEN: 9:00 AM, Tuesday, March 12
WHERE: Louisiana State Capitol, House Committee Room 6
900 North Third Street, Baton Rouge
WHY: To investigate the delay in justice surrounding the lack of death penalty enforcement
It’s really a victims’ rights issue at this point. These are people who were convicted by a jury and given a capital sentence, and the families of the victims have been under the understanding that the murderers of their loved ones would be given justice – and they’d be given closure.
A death sentence doesn’t provide closure until it’s carried out. So if a murderer is sentenced to death and not executed, there is no closure.
And now we’re looking at nine years with no closure for any of those victims’ families. Which is a lot to put those people through.
Nobody here is interested in executing anybody who’s innocent; that’s not what this is about despite what you’ll hear from the anti-death penalty crowd. What’s more at issue is whether Louisiana’s methods of execution are cruel and unusual – and specifically that the cocktail of drugs the state wants to use to administer lethal injections can’t be purchased on the open market, so what’s the state going to do to carry out executions under the circumstances.
Edwards, Louisiana’s “conservative Democrat” governor, punted this issue last year in front of a federal judge and then ran away from it when Landry called him out. Landry has decided he’s going to bring it back and start a fight over the subject this year, in time for Edwards’ election.
Is this a political ploy? Sure. That doesn’t change the fact that we’ve got a governor who’s not doing his job in the manner he advertised he would four years ago when he ran a campaign based on the idea that (1) there wouldn’t be all that big an ideological difference between his governance and David Vitter’s, and (2) hookers.
Well, it turns out there is a difference, as the families of those murder victims who can’t get closure will tell you. And if Landry is able to smoke that difference out for the state’s voters in this election year, good for him, and thanks for his service.