Inmate at Louisiana State Penitentiary succumbs to COVID-19
BATON ROUGE - An inmate diagnosed with novel coronavirus has died, marking the first coronavirus-related fatality of a state inmate, according to Louisiana Department of Corrections.
The inmate housed at Louisiana State Penitentiary was 69 years of age and serving a life sentence for first-degree murder. He was imprisoned since January of 1978, over 42 years.
Officials say the inmate had an underlying health condition and had been hospitalized in Baton Rouge since Wednesday before dying on Saturday.
He conferred with the doctor at the hospital and requested and agreed to a do not resuscitate order.
His family has been notified of his death.
For the privacy of his family and due to confidentiality laws, the DOC is not releasing the inmate’s name nor additional details about his medical conditions.
Louisiana has started the process of temporarily furloughing up to 1,200 inmates in a bid to decrease the virus's potential spread in the close quarters of prison facilities.
Corrections Secretary Jimmy LeBlanc created a six-person review panel to consider temporary furloughs for inmates convicted of nonviolent, non-sex-offense crimes who are within the last six months of their sentences.
The debate on prison populations comes as a public debate unfolds on another aspect of the state's response to the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
As hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients decline, pressure on the state and local leaders to re-open more of the state's economy is apparent.
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