Grover Cannon Convicted of Murder, So What’s Next?
With the announcement Wednesday evening of the conviction of Grover (Graveyard) Cannon in the 2015 shooting death of Shreveport Police Officer Thomas LeValley, social media rejoiced. "Justice for Thomas," read some. "Now you can rest in peace," said a few others. But those who are expecting Cannon, who could receive a death sentence from the same jury that convicted him, to face lethal injection anytime soon will be disappointed. This cop killer will likely be on Louisiana's death row for two decades or more.
So, let's say Cannon is sentenced to die. What happens next? Well, according to theadvocate.com, there's the automatic appeal:
"Once offenders receive a death sentence, they can pursue automatic appeals to both the state and federal courts. The process after conviction includes an evaluation of whether the court and jury got the verdict right or made an error in the ruling, if the prosecution cheated or hid evidence and if there was ineffective assistance to counsel defendants."
And this appeal isn't exactly cheap. Again, from theadvocate.com:
"Over $100 million has been used just on public defender funds since...2007 and those costs don’t include prosecutors’ spending, court spending, hotels for jurors for two weeks, police costs or lab costs for capital punishment cases."
And then there's the lethal injection controversy. There are currently seventy convicted murderers on Louisiana's death row, prisoners who may never be executed because the state's department of corrections no longer has access to the death-inducing drugs. Manufacturers of those pharmaceuticals refuse to sell them for capital punishment use.
As mentioned, there are three score and ten murderers now awaiting execution at Angola State Prison. Some have been there for as long as thirty years. The last convicted killer put to death in Louisiana was almost a decade ago. So, for all of those cheering, "Justice for Thomas," be forewarned: The killer won't be facing death anytime soon. But those who mourn this brave SPD hero can take solace in the fact that the animal who took his life will be imprisoned, and no longer a threat to anyone's innocent life.