PJI attorneys and co-counsel returned to court for an evidentiary hearing in our ongoing excessive heat litigation on June 15, 2016. The evidentiary hearing, before Chief Judge Brian A. Jackson in the Middle District of Louisiana, centered on whether the remedial measures the prison has offered to date are sufficient to remedy the Eighth Amendment violation to which our clients are subjected throughout the summer.
The remedial measures – consisting of additional access to ice, fans, and cool showers – do nothing to lower the temperature and humidity on the tiers where death row prisoners reside. This is why PJI has asked the court to order a remedy that actually addresses the root of the problem: dangerously extreme heat.
The prison itself has agreed that air conditioning is the only way to bring down the dangerous heat index levels on the tiers. Both sides will submit additional briefing to the court in July and we will thereafter await the court’s decision.