Court rules Constitution does not require AC in cells of La. death row inmates

(WAFB) - The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday in favor of the Louisiana Attorney General's Office that the United States Constitution does not require the state to provide air conditioning in the cells of three death row inmates.

"The state's argument in this case has been that the inmates' Eighth Amendment rights were not violated. We are pleased that the Fifth Circuit categorically rejects the inmates' claims, ruling that the Constitution does not require air conditioning for them. The Constitution does not require prisons to be comfortable; it requires them to be humane," said Attorney General Jeff Landry.

Back in June of 2013, three death row inmates filed a complaint, demanding air conditioning in their cells. A lower court ruled in favor of the inmates and ordered the state to reduce the heat index to a temperature at or below 88° during the summer months.

Then, the Attorney General's office, on behalf of the Department of Corrections, filed an appeal with the Fifth Circuit, saying the court had already taken air conditioning off the table for these particular inmates. On Wednesday, January 31, the Fifth Circuit Court reversed the decision and sent the case back to the lower court.

"I applaud my Solicitor General Elizabeth Murrill, Deputy Solicitor General Colin Clark, Assistant Attorney General Winston White, as well as Mary Roper and Jeffrey Cody with the Shows, Cali & Walsh firm for their steadfast dedication to this case," said Landry.

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