Judge: Heat on La. death row unsafe for inmates

Violates constitutional protections

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- A federal judge has ruled that Louisiana's death row gets so hot that it violates constitutional protections against cruel and unusual punishment.

U.S. District Judge Brian Jackson released his decision Thursday in a civil rights lawsuit filed for three condemned inmates, challenging death row conditions in summer as unsafe.

Jackson ordered the state corrections department and the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola to give him a plan to cool the cells so the heat index never goes above 88 degrees.

The inmates who were plaintiffs in the lawsuit have high blood pressure and other health ailments that their lawyers said could be worsened by heat.

Prison officials argued the conditions are safe.

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