Lawmakers back search for new execution methods
BATON ROUGE - Legislation to direct Louisiana's corrections department to search for alternatives to lethal injection when carrying out the death penalty has started advancing in the House.
The House criminal justice committee passed the measure Wednesday by Metairie Rep. Joe Lopinto after hearing support from Corrections Undersecretary Thomas Bickham.
The proposal moves to the House floor for debate.
The department would study what execution method Louisiana could use if it cannot get drugs for lethal injection. States are facing a shortage of execution drugs because pharmacies don't want to be associated with the death penalty.
Lopinto also has proposed that pharmacies' identities be hidden from the public to combat the shortage. That measure has won passage in the House and awaits Senate debate.