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Committee kills bill that would end states death penalty

Committee kills bill that would end states death penalty
Published: Apr. 19, 2022 at 6:25 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The Louisiana death penalty was under review this morning at the state Capitol when a bill looking to repeal it all together got thrown out. It was certainly a long couple of hours filled with passionate testimony from both those in support and opposition. However, the committee was not so easily convinced.

The bill by Democrat Sen. Katrina Jackson would have done away with the death penalty for murderers convicted after August 1, 2022. It would also rule out death as a sentence for treason. The bill would have also redirected money toward early childhood education.

Religious advocates showed up in support of the bill today. One of them, Sister Helen Prejean, who authored the book that became the movie “Dead Man Walking”, tried to convince the committee.

“The death penalty revictimizes us because we wait, and wait, and wait for this justice you’ve promised us that never happens. We’re failing at it, it’s broken, we’re not able to make the bloody thing work,” said Sister Prejean.

However, a few attorneys spoke in opposition along with a representative from the DA’s office. Saying it needs to remain an option for prosecutors and that they were speaking on behalf of victims that could not be there today.

“Can’t be here today because they slaughtered, murdered, shot, dumped in swamps, dumped in ditches...they can’t be here. What if they could be here, what would they say about the death penalty? They might have a different perspective,” said John Sinquefield, a prosecutor who testified in opposition.

The debate carried on for several hours, but when it came time for a vote the committee decided to vote it down. Even though this is the end of the road for Sen. Jackson’s bill this session, she says she wont hesitate to give it another shot next year

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