The Baton Rouge Advocate reports, "Lethal injection procedural suit rejected." It's written by Joe Gyan Jr.
An appeals court in Baton Rouge has rejected a death row inmate’s contention that the state’s lethal injection guidelines are invalid because they were not adopted in compliance with the Louisiana Administrative Procedure Act.
A three-judge panel of the state 1st Circuit Court of Appeal concluded that the state Department of Public Safety and Corrections’ internal rules for implementing a death sentence are not subject to the LAPA.
DPSC attorney Wade Shows said Friday the appellate court ruling is significant because Louisiana death row inmates — not just condemned killer Nathaniel Code — will not be able to raise that particular issue in the future.
“It’s just one less hurdle,” Shows said.
Capital Post Conviction Project of Louisiana Director Gary Clements, who represents Code, could not be reached for comment Friday.
The 1st Circuit’s ruling Wednesday came in a lawsuit that Code, of Shreveport, filed against DPSC in state district court in Baton Rouge in late 2009. The suit claimed the state failed to follow proper administrative procedures before putting its lethal injection procedure in place.
The 1st Circuit cited a state statute — La. R.S. 15:569 — that says the provisions of the LAPA “shall not apply to the procedures and policies concerning the process for implementing a sentence of death.”
“According to this statutory language, the DPSC’s internal guidelines or ‘protocols,’ which establish the process for implementing a sentence of death, are not subject to the LAPA’s rulemaking provisions,” Circuit Judge John Pettigrew wrote for the panel. Circuit Judges Randolph Parro and Page McClendon agreed.
None of Louisiana’s 80-plus death row inmates has a scheduled execution date.
Related posts are in the lethal injection index.