Louisiana House ends death penalty ban debate without vote
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana’s annual debate over whether to abolish the death penalty appears to have ended, after a House lawmaker shelved his proposal Thursday without a vote.
In a quiet, often emotional debate, House lawmakers discussed the legislation by Rep. Terry Landry, talking about exoneration rates and detailing murder cases.
But after he made his closing argument, Landry — a New Iberia Democrat and former state police superintendent — didn’t seek a vote on the bill, anticipating that he didn’t have the votes for passage.
The measure would have ended Louisiana’s use of the death penalty for offenses committed starting in August.
The Senate rejected a similar proposal from Sen. Dan Claitor, a Baton Rouge Republican, earlier in the session. Only 13 senators supported the ban, while 25 opposed it.
Louisiana held its last execution in 2010.
The corrections department says it can’t get lethal injection drugs because companies don’t want their products associated with capital punishment.
An effort to make the drug supplier information secret, aimed at restarting executions, has won House support and awaits debate in the Senate.
House Bill 215: www.legis.la.gov