1130 Newscast March 30

A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of three death row inmates who have spent decades in solitary confinement at Angola. All of Louisiana’s death row inmates are housed in solitary, where they spend 23 hours a day in a windowless cell without air conditioning. Attorney Betsy Ginsberg says this violates their right to due process and their 8th amendment protection from cruel and unusual punishment.

Cut 3 (10) “solitary confinement”

Ginsberg notes the inmates are in solitary by virtue of their sentence alone, not disciplinary problems.

For the first time since 2012, more Louisianans are optimistic about the future of the state, according to the 2017 Louisiana Survey. Director of the LSU Public Policy Research Lab Michael Henderson says 46 percent of residents believe the state is headed in the right direction.

Cut 6 (08) “this year”

Governor John Bel Edwards is calling on businesses to pay their fair share of taxes through the proposed Commercial Activity Tax, which would levy a gross receipts tax on businesses with at least 1.5 million dollars in annual sales. Edwards says most businesses paid no state taxes in 2015. President of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, Stephen Waguespack says this will put an additional strain on businesses.

The ACLU of Louisiana has filed a lawsuit to protect people’s right to film police. Executive Director Marjorie Esman says everyone has the right to take cell phone video of police activity, as long as they don’t interfere, and cell phones are also private by law.

Cut 12 (08) “without a warrant”

The suit comes on behalf of a Lafayette mother who says a cop deleted a picture from her phone without her permission.