Kentucky inmates

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A bill proposed in the state House of Representatives would reduce penalties for some crimes with the goal of saving the state money, according to the legislation’s sponsor.

Rep. Brent Yonts, a Democrat from Greenville, has filed a bill that would create a new crime category called “gross misdemeanor,” which would include flagrant non-support (not paying child support), second degree forgery and second degree criminal possession of a forged instrument.

HAZARD, Ky. — Larry Trent was just one of the 154 or more inmates who died in a Kentucky jail during the past 6½ years.

Arrested on July 5, 2013, in his car outside a Hazard doughnut shop, the 54-year-old Trent told police he drank “about four beers and mouthwash” before driving to the store with his 10-year-old grandson.

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The Hopkins County Jail has taken a gardening program for inmates to a new level by adding a small orchard.  Jailer Joe Blue says inmates enrolled in a Master Gardener program have planted 30 apple trees on a quarter-acre site near the jail. 

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In rural counties, state-run prisons are often major employers. And, after state budget cuts and reforms in the penal code, they remain an important part of the local economy. Some 12 state operated prisons are situated in relatively small towns. There’s a maximum security prison in Eddyville and the others are either community or medium security complexes.

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The attorney for Kevin Wayne Dunlap says her client was incompetent to plead guilty in the slayings of three children because part of his brain is missing.

Dunlap's lawyer, Kathleen Schmidt, told the Kentucky Supreme Court in a brief that Dunlap does not have a right frontal lobe,