La. Governor, Attorney General trade jabs over death penalty

La. Governor, Attorney General trade jabs over death penalty
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(KSLA) - The debate over executions in Louisiana is rising to a fever pitch this summer.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry continued his march in support of the death penalty in a letter sent to Governor John Bel Edwards on Tuesday.  In the letter, Landry doubles down on his quest to find out where Edwards stands on the death penalty asking the question twice:

"If you truly stand with crime victims and their families, then you will affirm your support with action."

Landry's letter also included draft legislation proposing to make death by nitrogen hypoxia, hanging, firing squad, or electrocution legal if lethal injection is deemed unconstitutional or is unavailable.

A spokesperson for Governor Edwards issued this statement in response to Landry's letter:

"We have received the latest letter from the Attorney General. We are pleased that he has conceded that current law, not the governor, is standing in the way of the state resuming executions, which have been on hold since 2010. Quitting the very lawsuit that was meant to bring justice for these families was never the answer, so his commitment to re-engage is welcome news.  In the 211 days the legislature has been in regular session since 2016, the attorney general has not offered a single bill. We will review his suggestions and hope to re-start a constructive dialogue. In the future, it is our hope that we can handle process disagreements person-to-person rather than through the media." - Richard Carbo, spokesman for Gov. John Bel Edwards

Landry's letter is in response to a letter sent by Governor Edwards on July 19 in which Edwards stated:

"The death penalty is a serious and complicated issue in Louisiana (and around the rest of the country) and families of victims are not well served by politicians who spout off about this issue without real solutions."

The debate between Edwards and Landry over executions in Louisiana bubbled up on social media on July 18 and again on July 24.

Drug shortages have forced Louisiana's corrections department to rewrite its execution plan several times since 2010, the year of its last execution.

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