Battle To Cool Louisiana’s Death Row Heats Up Again [Opinion]
Summer in Louisiana is very hot. Add in the humidity it is almost unbearable but for centuries people managed to live in this climate without the benefit of air conditioning. In fact there are many law abiding, God fearing people that don't have air conditioning because they can't afford to pay the power bill. However there are those that believe some of our State's most "honored" guests deserve a cool place to chill before they burn in hell. The battle to cool off Louisiana's death row at Angola is back in the headlines.
Last year a Federal Judge ordered that Louisiana's State Penitentiary at Angola incorporate some kind of cooling mechanism for the inmates housed on death row. The judge ordered air conditioning saying that the conditions in the facility during the heat of summertime were inhumane. Friday the State of Louisiana appealed that ruling. The state suggests that existing duct work and a series of fans provide enough relief for those who have committed the most heinous of crimes.
An attorney for one of the inmates involved in the lawsuit with the state says this,
"Our sense is that the conditions on death-row are quite dangerous. And we would like to move forward in creating a safer environment as possible, given the circumstances, as quickly as possible."
Obviously the state has a federal mandate to keep the most wretched criminals of the criminal community cool and comfortable while they enjoy their stay as guests of the Louisiana taxpayer. We certainly wouldn't want anything to happen to anyone that has been sentenced to die by a jury of their peers. Meanwhile many of families that were affected by the criminal action of the incarcerated inmates have no one making sure their air conditioning is on and paid for.
"Our constitution has many amendments and one of them says that we shouldn't subject people to cruel and unusual punishment. So it's our duty to uphold that, as it is any other provision of the constitution."
Stated Montagnes in the same Louisiana Radio Network report. It's funny how the lawyers always use these words to protect the criminal and never the victim. I am sure those that were murdered or criminally violated by these death row inmates feel that their punishment has already surpassed the definition of " cruel and unusual".
Meanwhile the installation of air conditioning on death row at Angola is on hold pending the results of the appeal filed by the State on Friday.