Bill to abolish death penalty in Louisiana defeated in House Criminal Justice Committee


A bill that would end capital punishment in Louisiana has failed to pass out of the House Criminal Justice Committee. HB 228 was from Marrero Democrat Representative Kyle Green, who tells committee members the death penalty needs to go forever…:

“It’s a punishment that has been shown to be racially biased against people of color; being more likely to be sentenced to death than their white counterparts. It’s a punishment that has been applied to innocent people.”

Louisiana is one of 27 states that still allow capital punishment, but no one has been put to death here since 2010. Among those speaking FOR Green’s bill was defense attorney Ralph Capitelli, who says the process – from conviction to actual execution – simply takes too long to play out, and it should be eliminated…:

“The years and years and years that intervene between the two events is devastating to the families of the victims, and to the integrity of the criminal justice system.”

Opposing the bill was West Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Tony Clayton, who tells members the death penalty still has a place in Louisiana justice…:

“You kill somebody – black, polka-dotted…I don’t care – or you rape and old woman and kill her for no reason, you ought to face the death penalty.”

Also against the bill, was Chief Deputy Attorney General John Sinquefield, who says virtually all Gulf South states still have the death penalty, and he worries what message ending capital punishment might send…:

“We’re going to become a magnet for pedophile killers, serial killers, gang-related killers. We’re going to be a magnet, if we are this little island right there in the middle with no death penalty.”

The measure failed by a vote of 4 “yeas” to 11 “nays”, meaning the bill itself has received the death penalty.

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