Edwards: Landry is using crime victims to score political points

Posted at 2:55 PM, Jul 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-19 15:55:29-04

Gov. John Bel Edwards fired off a letter to Attorney General Jeff Landry today, disputing Landry’s statements of yesterday about the death penalty.

As we reported, Landry said in a statement Wednesday that his office is withdrawing from defending against a lawsuit challenging Louisiana’s lethal injection protocols. He blamed the governor for "political grandstanding."

In a two-page letter sent out on Thursday, the Governor said Landry wasn’t telling the truth, that he was "using" crime victims to "score political points" and reminds Landry that he has the governor’s cell phone and can call him any time he likes.

"The fact of the matter is we have gotten to the point where our office has tried to work with the department of corrections to show them ways under which we can get these executions moving. They have resisted and that resistance has come from the governor’s office. So, it’s a pretty simple formula. Either the governor is for the death penalty or he is not," Landry said. 

The Governor denies claims that Landry has tried to communicate with him or his office. 

"This idea that he has been communicating with me about this matter, I will tell you he has never had a conversation with me about this matter, not one time. The last communication about this at all was in October of last year. So none of this makes sense and I think the Attorney General needs to take a deep breath and just calm down a little bit and get back to doing his job," Edwards said. 

Landry said he just wants justice for victims and their families, and he will answer all of the Governor’s questions when the Governor answers the one question Landry continues to ask. 

"Do you support the death penalty?"

"Why he did what he did yesterday, you will have to ask him because it makes absolutely no sense to me. The twitter rant last night was, I thought, was relatively unhinged and extreme and does not reflect who we are as Louisianians," Edwards said. 

You can read the Governor’s letter for yourself here: 

The letter AG Jeff Landry sent to Governor John Bel Edwards is below: