Covering Louisiana

Apr 17, 2014 5:23 AM by AP (MGN Online)

Lawmaker scraps bill toughening appeals process

An East Feliciana Parish lawmaker has jettisoned his proposal to make it harder for a condemned prisoner to appeal a death sentence.
Instead, Rep. Kenny Havard, a Republican from Jackson, told the House criminal justice committee Wednesday that he wanted to study the appeal process further.
Havard's bill would have removed an exception in the law that says prisoners facing the death penalty do not have to meet the two-year deadline for filing an appeal. He said the exception draws out the appeals process, hurting victims of crime.
But he also said he wanted to make sure prisoners wrongfully convicted have time to be exonerated.
Havard had faced concerns the change could take away a prisoner's due process rights.

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