Friday, September 05, 2003



The Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola is getting a new and larger death row and execution house.

The $6 million project is expected to be completed within 18 months.

Plans include room for more witnesses to view executions.

....."The concept of a serial killer ... makes us realize that we need an enhanced capacity," Corrections Secretary Richard Stalder said.

The new building will have more witness rooms than the old building. Currently, there is only one glass-windowed room for the media, coroner, relatives of the victim, the inmate's spiritual adviser and an attorney to watch an execution, Stalder said.

That single room can accommodate about eight to 10 people.

State law mandates that two members of a victim's family can witness an execution.

....Nationwide, the number of executions fell 22 percent between 2000 and 2001, marking the first time since the death penalty's 1976 return in the United States that the number of inmates put to death dropped two years in a row.