MONROE, La. (KNOE) – State Senator Katrina Jackson introduced a bill that would abolish the death penalty in Louisiana for crimes committed after August 1, 2021.
Jackson says her pro-life views, along with the potential financial benefits, led her to write the legislation.
“Life is really the one thing that once you take it away from someone, you can’t give it back,” Jackson explained.
In 2014, Jackson, who represents seven parishes in northeast Louisiana, drafted a controversial anti-abortion bill that was later struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court. During this legislative session, Jackson says the sanctity of life will remain a priority.
“I’m not just supporting life when it comes to abortion,” Jackson told KNOE. “I have always said that I have supported life at every stage of life.”
Jackson added that the odds of a person being wrongfully convicted played a role.
“It’s a problem for me to see us take someone’s life and find out in five to 10 years, after we’ve taken their life, that they’re innocent,” Jackson admitted.
Jackson adds that not only is eliminating capital punishment the moral thing to do, but also the fiscally responsible decision.
“We’re not just paying for them to be in jail,” Jackson explained. “We also pay for them to exhaust a thorough appeal, that most death row inmates die in prison.”
Jackson says the state will save nearly $10 million a year by eliminating the death penalty. She wants to use that money to fill Louisiana’s education gap.
“So we can start giving literacy grants for two- and three-year-olds,” Jackson said. “Open up additional seats in pre-K three.”
Jackson adds that she is sensitive to the opinions of victims and says that is why she was not sentenced to life without parole.
“If someone does something so heinous to you or your loved ones, I still want the option of life without parole on the table,” Jackson explained.
The last execution in Louisiana took place in 2010.
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