Murderer Nathaniel Code’s Case Against Angola May Be Headed to Supreme Court
A federal appeals court has refused to take another look at the case of death row inmates who are fighting conditions at Angola State Penitentiary. A Baton Rouge federal judge did order the prison to implement remedies to ease the hot conditions on death row, but the inmates want air conditioning. Three inmates, including Nathaniel Code of Shreveport claim the extreme heat at the prison threatens their lives.
A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied requests from the prisoners’ attorneys that either the panel or the full court rehear the case.
In a report in The Baton Rouge Advocate, lawyers for Elzie Ball, Nathaniel Code and James Magee can now ask the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene.
“We are disappointed with the denial of our petitions and have not yet decided our next step,” said Mercedes Montagnes, one of the inmates’ attorneys.
James Hilburn, an attorney for the state Department of Corrections, said the 5th Circuit correctly turned down the rehearing requests.
In his December 2013 order, Chief U.S. District Judge Brian Jackson did not require the state to air-condition death row, but he said heat indexes there could not exceed 88 degrees Fahrenheit from April until the end of October.
The state complained to the 5th Circuit that Jackson’s order effectively required it to provide air conditioning, something Ball, Code and Magee are not constitutionally entitled to.
Code was sentenced to death for the 1985 murders of four people at a house in Shreveport.