Covering Louisiana

Jan 17, 2014 4:58 PM by AP

Judge rejects delay in plan to cool La. death row

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A federal judge has refused to delay his order requiring state prison officials to devise a way to lower heat levels on Louisiana's death row.

U.S. District Judge Brian Jackson says the Corrections Department and the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola must give him a plan by Feb. 17.

Jackson ruled in December that death row gets so hot that it violates U.S. constitutional protections against cruel and unusual punishment. He demanded a plan that will cool the cells so the heat index never goes above 88 degrees.

Lawyers for the state sought a delay while they appeal Jackson's ruling.

On Friday, Jackson also set a Feb. 20 hearing date on whether he'll order personal sanctions against the state's attorneys for what he called "lack of candor" during the lawsuit.

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