Study commission looking at La. death penalty
BATON ROUGE - A New Orleans state senator is trying to determine how much Louisiana's agencies spend on the death penalty.
Sen. J.P. Morrell, a Democrat, is leading a new study commission looking at capital punishment. Its first meeting was Wednesday.
Morrell says he's looking for ways to streamline the process for dealing with capital cases, litigation that can stretch over decades. He says the data is critical to decision-making.
But tensions were obvious at the opening meeting of the commission, which includes people who support and oppose the death penalty, along with officials from the legislative auditor's office and the corrections department.
Louisiana's last execution was in 2010, and plans for the next lethal injection have been put on hold amid an ongoing legal dispute about the drugs that will be used.