As Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards enters the final year of his second term, you're seeing the "real" John Bel beginning to emerge.  After remaining neutral on Louisiana's death penalty for 7 years, Edwards has now come out publicly against the death penalty.  Edwards told KNOE-TV in Monroe about his concerns of executing an innocent person.

“We know there have been far more exonerations off of our death row over the last twenty years then there have been actual executions.”


Louisiana hasn't performed an execution since 2010, citing a shortage of lethal injection drugs.  Edwards' non-support of the death penalty is based on morality, and he says legislators should remain consistent in their views.

“It seems to me to be inconsistent to say on the one hand we’re going to be the most “pro-life” state in the nation or that we can be yet we’re going to maintain our traditional approach to the death penalty.”



Marrero Democrat Representative Kyle Green has filed a bill that would end the death penalty in Louisiana.  ULM Political Science Professor Pearson Cross doesn't expect the governor's support of the bill to lead to legislative passage though.

“Whether that bill will ultimately be supported is quite unclear given the strong Republican majority in both chambers.”


Cross said with a new governor taking office next year, many legislators might be waiting to pass the issue to the new governor.

“They’re thinking about their re-election. They’re also thinking about who’s going to be the next governor and how the winds going to be blowing when we have a new governor.”


2023 is Governor Edwards final year in office. The 2023 legislative session gets underway April 10th.

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