Controversial bill to abolish death penalty advances, reviving previously rejected proposal

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Rep. Terry Landry, D-New Iberia, testified Tuesday before the House Administration of Criminal Justice for his proposed bill to abolish the death penalty. (Photo credit: Madeline Meyer, LSU Manship School News Service)

By: Madeline Meyer, LSU Manship School News Service

Published: May 14, 2019

BATON ROUGE–The House Administration of Criminal Justice advanced controversial bills on Tuesday that would abolish the death penalty and lower sentences for first-time marijuana possession.

Rep. Terry Landry, D-New Iberia, who pushed for abolishing capital punishment in both 2017 and 2018, sponsored that bill. It passed 8-7, reviving a roposal that was rejected by the Senate last weekp.

“Death by the government is wrong, and that is why I bring this bill,” Landry, a former superintendent of the Louisiana State Police, said.

Landry said he had had a change of heart about the death penalty over the years. He also disclosed that he would not seek re-election, emphasizing that his proposal was not politically motivated.

His bill is similar to one sponsored by Sen. Dan Claitor, R-Baton Rouge, that was rejected on the Senate floor.

Louisiana is among 31 states that continue to implement the death penalty.

Read more in The Advertiser.

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