The state in which noted anti-death penalty speaker and activist Sr. Helen Prejean began her ministry to those on death row, Louisiana, has executed over 650 people, and nearly 30 since the state reinstated the death penalty in 1973 following the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1972 decision which struck down prior laws as unconstitutional. Previous statue provided for the death penalty in cases of aggravated rape for a minor under the age of 12, but this provision was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2008.
Since 1976, eight innocent people have been freed from this state’s death row, most recently, Manuel Ortiz (August 19, 2011) and over 80 persons are presently awaiting execution under Louisiana’s lethal injection protocol.
CMN State Spotlight – August 2011
Lousiana organizations are “working together to raise awareness about the exclusion of people of faith and of color from capital juries, prevent juror disenfranchisement and ensure that capital juries represent the moral views of the entire community.”