The Baton Rouse trial with regards to the Angola Prison heat lawsuit brought by three Angola Prison death row inmates against Secretary Jimmy LeBlanc, the Department of Corrections, as well as Angola Prison Warden Burl Cain and Deputy Warden Angela Norwood, has come to an end. The presiding judge will decide whether these Angola Prison inmates were placed at a higher risk of illness and death due to excessive temperatures at the state penitentiary known as “The Farm.”
All closing arguments wrapped up just after noon on Wednesday in the much publicized trial before U.S. District Court Chief Judge Brian A. Jackson for the Middle District of Louisiana . There is no doubt that his decision could very well set significant precedent for death row conditions in the state of Louisiana.
How long the judge will take before his decision is announced is unknown. But one thing is certain; the outcome of the federal suit will be determined by the judge’s interpretation of the three inmate’s disability rights as well as the “cruel and unusual punishment” clause of the Eight Amendment.
In their lawsuit the plaintiffs claimed temperatures on the death row tiers were consistently higher than levels considered to be safe for human habitation; the inmates requested the heat index levels be lowered to at least 88 degrees Fahrenheit.
Tiers at the Angola Prison Death Row facility are not air-conditioned and do not have cross-ventilation. Independent data gathered this summer for the court showed indoor temperatures between 90 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
Let see how the court rules. This is an issue that to us is at the core of who we are as a people. Yes, these are prisoners, yes; these are prisoners in death row. As the attorney for the three inmates so clearly stated, this is a matter that also falls into what could be considered tantamount to “evolutionary standard of decency that marks the progress of a maturing society.”
We will see what happens with this one……..
About Martin E. Regan, Jr.
Year after year, Martin E. Regan Jr., the firm’s senior partner, has dedicated tireless efforts on behalf of the accused and produce wins for clients that a less determined advocate would have thought hopeless. Martin E. Regan Jr.’s ability to tackle and win tough criminal cases has resulted in verdicts of acquittal in many highly publicized trials.