Bodie White is the only member of the senate Judiciary Committee casting a 'nay' vote on the bill abolishing the death penalty in the state. The bill now advances to the Senate floor for consideration.
Senator Dan Claitor's bill is not retroactive, so there is no impact on the dozens of people on Angola's Death Row. But critics are concerned that future court rulings may through out their punishment.
Claitor and his supporters say the state spends millions on death penalty appeals, and the death penalty has not proven to be a deterrent. The last death penalty carried out in Louisiana was 2002, and that individual asked to be executed.
If the bill clears both houses and is signed by the governor, the death penalty will be eleiminated as punishment for any offenses committees on or after August 1st.