State seeks to reverse federal judge's ruling
BATON ROUGE - State officials are asking a federal appellate court to reverse the judge's finding that hot conditions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary's death row are unconstitutional.
In a filing with the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, attorneys for the state Department of Corrections argue that there is no basis in law for Chief U.S. District Judge Brian Jackson's order that heat indexes on death row - how hot it actually feels - not top 88 degrees from April through October.
State officials claim the judge's ruling and order effectively requires the state to install an "extensive and expensive" air conditioning unit or some other humidity-controlling device, something no court has ever mandated.
Attorneys for three Louisiana condemned killers have until Sept. 23 to enter their response.
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