Federal lawsuit claims inmates face extreme heat
BATON ROUGE - A New Orleans-based advocacy group has filed a federal lawsuit against the state alleging inhumane conditions for death row inmates at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola.
Filed on behalf of three inmates, the lawsuit says the prisoners are forced to live in poorly-ventilated cells where average temperatures exceed 95 degrees during the summer. The suit says with Louisiana's humidity, the heat index along death row tiers routinely reaches "danger" and "extreme danger" zones.
The Promise of Justice Initiative, a nonprofit group that advocates on behalf of indigent defendants, filed the lawsuit against the Department of Corrections, Corrections Secretary Jimmy LeBlanc and prison wardens Burl Cain and Angela Norwood.
LeBlanc's spokeswoman, Pam Laborde, says the corrections department cannot comment on pending litigation, but will respond in court.