On House Bill 278.
A recent committee vote in the Louisiana House voted 14-1 in favor of advancing legislation that would expand how the death penalty is applied in our state. State Rep. Terry Landry, D-Lafayette, who alone voted against House Bill 278, has stated that the bill would apply to any prison worker. “If you’re a secretary, anybody,” he said.
The bill now moves to the full House for debate.
House Bill 278, would make the killing of a prison worker a capital crime. Said crime is already covered by the charge of First Degree Murder as it addresses the killing of firemen, peace officers, Louisiana State Police Crime Laboratory civilian employees, taxi drivers as well as young children and the elderly.
State Rep. Kenny Havard, R-St. Francisville, told the House Committee on the Administration of Criminal Justice “We’ve had several tragedies, one in the last probably 10 years or so.” Rep. Harvard´s House district includes two state prisons has pointed out that prison employees work in dangerous situations.
According to an article in the Baton Rouge Advocate published March 21, 2014, the most recent prison killing in Louisiana occurred nearly 15 years ago when Capt. David D. Knapps, 49, died during a failed escape attempt from the Educational Building of the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola prison’s Camp D. Said crime included an aggravating element was involved — the escape — two inmates received a death sentence in Knapps’ slaying. Three others received life sentences.