$1 million spent to avoid cooling death row
BATON ROUGE - Louisiana has racked up more than $1 million in legal bills to fight a 3-year-old lawsuit that claims the state's death-row inmates are routinely exposed to dangerous heat and humidity levels in their cells.
Records obtained by The Associated Press show most of the taxpayer money has gone to private attorneys on opposing sides of the federal litigation.
The state could spend roughly the same amount of money - and possibly far less - to provide air-conditioning to death-row inmates at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola.
The state has refused, despite a federal judge's order to keep the heat index at or below 88 degrees. Lawyers for the state insist that cold showers, fans and ice chests are enough to cool off the three inmates who sued.