Court seeks special master to cool down death row
BATON ROUGE - Two law professors and a civil lawyer have told a federal judge they feel qualified to oversee implementation of the state's proposed plan to cool down death row at the Louisiana State Penitentiary.
William Quigley and M. Isabel Medina, faculty members at Loyola University New Orleans School of Law, and Paul J. Hebert, a Lafayette lawyer, testified Wednesday they're capable of monitoring the state's compliance with the judge's order that heat indexes on death row don't top 88 degrees.
Chief U.S. District Judge Brian Jackson ruled in December that heat indexes recorded on death row amount to cruel and unusual punishment. He said he would appoint a special master in the next few days.
The state is appealing the judge's Dec. 19 ruling.