Within Louisiana, where capital punishment has declined steeply, Caddo Parish has become an outlier, accounting for nearly half of the state’s death sentences over the past five years, according to a report by The New York Times.
Even on a national level, Caddo stands apart. From 2010 to 2014, more people were sentenced to death per capita here than in any other county in the United States, among counties with four or more death sentences in that period.
According to The Times’ report, Caddo has bucked the national trend in large part because of one man: acting District Attorney Dale Cox, one of the country’s bluntest spokesmen for the death penalty. For example, Cox stands by his statement in March to The Shreveport Times that capital punishment is primarily and rightly about revenge and that the state needs to “kill more people.”
The Times report uses Caddo Parish as a case in point to explore the geographic disparity of capital punishment, which some say is “personality-driven.”