Disagreement over the death penalty

It seems Louisiana has an interesting disagreement between two of its public officials who reportedly are both contemplating running for governor in the next state election.

Gov. John Bel Edwards and Attorney Jeff Landry have disagreed with each other in trying to get drugs the state would need to execute criminals with the death penalty.

Bel Edwards claims the state cannot get the drugs.

There are presently some 71 criminals on death row in Louisiana which, because of that factor, cannot be executed.

The state has not executed anyone since 2010.

Even this week, District Judge Shelly Dick agreed to a 12-month extension temporarily staying executions.

The governor said he had not heard from Landry since the fall about any concerns on executions.

In a letter to the governor, Landry wrote, “The state has not carried out a death sentence since 2010 even though a large and growing number of victim’s families suffer in legal limbo waiting for justice to be carried out.”

Landry blamed the governor for not pursuing alternative forms of execution to lethal injection since it was difficult to get the drugs.

There has been no effort to strengthen or expand the death penalty bill in recent years, but a few legislators reportedly tried unsuccessfully to abolish executions.

Landry has said Louisiana should consider alternative execution methods if the lethal injection process is not used. He said he would be open to execution by gas, hanging and firing squad.

But Bel Edwards has not been specific on any types of execution he would recommend and by so saying left his views on execution to a certain extent unknown.

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