After years of silence regarding his views on the death penalty, Governor John Bel Edwards of Louisiana expressed his opposition to capital punishment in a seminar at Loyola University in New Orleans. On March 22, 2023, Edwards said, “The death penalty is so final. When you make a mistake, you can’t get it back. And we know that mistakes have been made in sentencing people to death.”

Edwards based his opposition to the death penalty on his religious faith and said it was “fortuitous” that a shortage of lethal injection drugs has paused all executions in the state for the past 13 years. Louisiana has carried out only one execution in almost 21 years, and that was in 2010. There have been 11 prisoners freed from the state’s death row and exonerated since 1973.