News & Politics

Louisiana AG Suggests Alternative Execution Methods as Governor Drags Feet

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks at the opening of a special legislative session in Baton Rouge, La., Monday, June 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

The state of Louisiana has declared a moratorium on execution of death row inmates because of the difficulty in obtaining the drugs needed for lethal injection. Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry is pushing Governor John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, to hurry up and find some alternatives — because he thinks Edwards simply doesn’t like capital punishment.

According to the Washington Free Beacon:

Landry, who is seen as a possible future challenger for the governorship, released a letter Tuesday evening in which he called on Edwards to back a number of changes to state law, including the introduction of different execution drugs and the legalization of alternatives to lethal injection. This would make it easier to proceed with executions, which Landry believes the Governor is dragging his feet on implementing.

Among the alternatives mentioned are firing squads, electrocution, and using compounding pharmacies to make small batches of the needed drugs.

Landry is a staunch supporter of capital punishment and may be using this to portray Edwards, a potential political opponent, as being weak on crime and criminals.

A gray area on capital punishment in any state is unacceptable. Either alternatives need to be found in haste, or capital punishment needs to be ended in that state. There are inmates on death row who are, right now, wondering if they will live or die as politicians bicker. It has to be mental torture. Sounds like “cruel and unusual punishment” to me.

It’s not that I think some scumbags don’t deserve to die for their crimes. I do. I’m simply not a big fan of capital punishment due to the impossibility of an always-perfect justice process. When there’s a mistake, you can’t un-execute someone, and what legal proceeding ever concludes without any mistakes? You can release a man from prison, and while you can’t give him back those years, you can still free him and try to make him whole. That’s not possible with a dead man.

Governor Edwards needs to crap or get off the pot. When a man’s life is at stake and a victim’s family is being put through additional hell, Edwards at least must make a stand. He doesn’t seem to have the fortitude.

If he can’t or won’t do it, then I suspect a lot of Louisiana voters would be happy to support someone who will.