The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has confirmed that the conditions on Louisiana's death row violate the U.S. Constitution’s ban on Cruel and Unusual Punishment.
The court issued the opinion in Ball et al. v. LeBlanc et al. on July 8, 2015. The opinion, authored by Circuit Judge Edith Jones, upholds the district court’s finding that the extreme heat on death row – where the heat index regularly exceeds 100 degrees for hours or days on end – violates the plaintiffs’ 8th Amendment right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment because the heat conditions subject the plaintiffs to a substantial risk of serious harm.