Associated PressNewsState

Court overturns heat-index limit on Louisiana’s death row

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  • By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN, Associated Press

By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN, Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal appeals court has overturned an order requiring Louisiana prison officials to keep the heat index on death row below 88 degrees for three ailing condemned killers.

Wednesday’s ruling by a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is the latest twist in a 2013 civil rights lawsuit that has cost taxpayers more than $1 million.

U.S. District Judge Brian Jackson ruled in 2016 that Louisiana imposes unconstitutionally cruel and unusual punishment on the three death-row inmates once the heat index in their cells exceeds 88 degrees. Jackson’s order required prison officials to continue using new measures to control heat levels.

The 5th Circuit panel concluded Jackson violated a previous order by the appeals court by incorporating a maximum heat index in his ruling.

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