Summer is Over, Still No Response On The Angola Death Row Lawsuit.
This past June, a lawsuit was filed in federal court in Baton Rouge challenging heat conditions on Death Row in Angola. The suit was filed on behalf of inmates Elzie Ball, Nathaniel Code and James Magee who still await the judge’s decision. The inmates’ petition stated that conditions at the state penitentiary’s death row were unsafe for inmates due to extreme temperatures inside the cells. The suit was filed during the thick of Louisiana’s hot and humid summer months. U.S. District Judge Brian Jackson was assigned to the case. At the conclusion of the trial, Judge Jackson suggested he would rule quickly because of the health concerns involved.
The three condemned inmates who are plaintiffs in the case are still waiting for the judge’s ruling, even though four months have passed since the trial ended. The summer heat is over, cool fall weather has reached northern Louisiana.
The lawsuit described heat conditions on Death Row “extreme and unsafe,” adding that cell bars are at times too hot to touch and that fans “feel like blow dryers.” At the end of the three day trial which was held in August, Jackson suggested a decision would come soon because of the safety claims. “It’s important for the court to issue a ruling in the short-term, or in the near-term, I should say,” the judge said at the time.
We at the law firm of Regan Law PLC, monitor the safety of our clients wherever they are incarcerated. As the largest prison in or State, Angola should set standards for prison safety and should be a model for prisoner living conditions for the entire state. We trust that judge Jackson will render his decision soon. If his decision calls for improvements to the living conditions on death row, then we trust that prison officials will use the winter months wisely and expedite whatever changes are required by the judge to improve the living conditions of the men on death row.
I am Attorney Martin E. Regan, Jr. and these are my personal thoughts…