Report: Death row reversals higher in La. than rest of nation

Report: Death row reversals higher in La. than rest of nation

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - If viewing this story on a mobile device or in an email, click the link for additional features -

A new report shows that four out of five death row sentences in Louisiana have been reversed since 1976, and one prisoner was exonerated for every 3 executions.

The report by independent researcher Tim Lyman and University of North Carolina political scientist Frank Baumgartner states that Louisiana's reversal rate is higher than the national average.

"Since 2000, Louisiana has seen 50 reversals of previous death sentences, including seven exonerations, and only two executions," notes the report. "Not only are these reversal rates extremely high, but the racial discrepancies are shocking as well."

The report, which was published in "The Journal of Race, Gender, and Poverty," states that black defendants face the death penalty more often and is 30 times more likely to be sentenced to death in Louisiana if his victim was a white woman, as opposed to a black man.

The report additionally notes that no white person has been executed in Louisiana for a crime against a black victim since 1752.

The state has issued 241 death sentence penalties since 1976. Of those, only 155 cases have been resolved and 127 of those ended in a reversal, which is a rate of 82 percent.

During that same time period, Louisiana has carried out 28 executions and 9 individuals were exonerated.

Louisiana legislators are currently examining the true cost of the death penalty.

The Capital Punishment Fiscal Impact Commission is examining whether or not death penalty trials are more expensive than placing a convicted prisoner behind bars for life.

As of January 2016, there are 79 individuals on death row in Louisiana.

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