Kentucky death penalty

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A nationwide debate on the execution of mentally ill death row prisoners erupted across the country after a federal appeals court last week granted a last-minute stay of execution to convicted murderer and diagnosed schizophrenic Scott Panetti in Texas.

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Priest and abolitionist Father Patrick Delahanty says he thinks Kentucky could be the next southern state to abolish the death penalty. Delahanty says he’s been working to abolish the death penalty in Kentucky for about 28 years and thinks the state is between 2 and 5 years from doing so. 

Bipartisan Bills Seek to Abolish KY Death Penalty

Feb 13, 2014
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Two Kentucky lawmakers have introduced bills that would eliminate the death penalty and replace it with life without parole.

A Democratic state lawmaker will be pushing legislation in the upcoming legislative session to abolish the death penalty in Kentucky.  Representative Carl Rollins of Midway drafted a measure that would make the Commonwealth's stiffest sentence life in prison without the possibility of parole. The Rollins bill calls for the term "capital punishment" to be stricken altogether from state law.  Similar legislation has been introduced intermittently over the past 25 years, but has never garnered enough support to pass. 


Critics of Kentucky's proposed new death penalty method have asked officials to make multiple changes to how executions are carried out now that the state is switching to a one- or two-drug lethal injection. During a hearing Tuesday in Frankfort, public defenders, private attorneys and anti-death penalty activists said the rules Kentucky wants to put in place have multiple problems, including that condemned inmates aren't allowed access to their attorneys on the day of execution.