La. lawmaker removes electric chair execution option from bill

Rep. Joe Lopinto asked members to support a version of his bill that would make it easier for the state to buy the drugs it needs to carry out the death penalty using lethal injection


By Emily Lane
The Times-Picayune

NEW ORLEANS, La. — A Louisiana lawmaker who likely faced an uphill battle getting his colleagues to endorse the electric chair as another form of execution gutted the measure before bringing it to the table Tuesday (April 29). Instead, Rep. Joe Lopinto, R-Metairie, asked members of the House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee to support a version of his bill that would make it easier for the state to buy the drugs it needs to carry out the death penalty using lethal injection.

The committee approved without any objection a heavily amended version of the original billthat would let the names of the companies supplying drugs used by the Louisiana Department of Corrections for executions to remain secret. 

Rep. Joe Lopinto, a Republican, said he didn't necessarily want to see prisoners executed by the electric chair, but he proposed the original version of the bill because it's become increasingly difficult for DOC to get the drugs used for lethal injection. Lethal injection is the only method of execution legal in Louisiana. 

"If we're going to have (the death penalty) and a trust unanimous jury to put someone to death for that crime, we need to let them follow through," Lopinto said. 

Full story: Louisiana lawmaker removes electric chair execution option from bill

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