Fourteen years ago this week, Derrick Todd Lee received the death penalty in Louisiana. He was the state’s most notorious and prolific serial killer. I was there in the courtroom when the verdict was handed down.
It was a cool Tuesday evening, and I was leaving a reception for former congressman Billy Tauzin at the Old State capital in downtown Baton Rouge. Billy and I had fought many battles together when we both served in the Louisiana legislature back in the 1970s. He had fought and won a separate confrontation with cancer, and a number of Billy’s friends all turned out to celebrate a full life he had led.
Down in the Bayou State, there’s a clamor for more executions. Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry makes no bones about his feelings. More executions- including nitrogen gas, hangings, firing squads, electrocution and lethal injection. But a federal judge has put all executions in Louisiana on hold for another year.