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Louisiana Senate to consider bill to end capital punishment

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana senators are moving ahead with a bill to end executions in the state, a rare proposal in a Republican-controlled region that tends to favor capital punishment.

A Senate judicial committee Tuesday voted 6-1 to have the full Senate consider the proposal, which would eliminate the death penalty as punishment for any offenses committed on or after Aug. 1.

Proponents of the ban argued that cash-strapped Louisiana should not be spending money on costly death penalty appeals, especially when only one person has been put to death in Louisiana since 2002.

Although the bill says the proposed law would not apply retroactively, critics said they feared future courts would not allow the 74 inmates sentenced to death in Louisiana to be executed and instead could one day release them on parole.

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