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Lawmaker Files Bill to Abolish the Death Penalty in Kentucky

PHOTO:  Kentucky lawmaker files a bill to abolish the death penalty and make life in prison without parole the maximum sentence.
PHOTO: Kentucky lawmaker files a bill to abolish the death penalty and make life in prison without parole the maximum sentence.
January 14, 2013

FRANKFORT, Ky. - Kentucky is one of nine states in which legislation to abolish the death penalty may go before lawmakers this year, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

The sponsor of legislation to abolish capital punishment in Kentucky says he is "pretty positive" he can get a hearing on his bill (HB 48) during the 2013 session of the General Assembly. State Representative Carl Rollins, a Democrat from Midway, wants to make the maximum sentence in Kentucky life in prison without parole.

Rollins says that while he's always objected to the death penalty on moral grounds, the cost of appeals is another reason to ban executions.

"They're basically in prison for life anyway, so why spend the extra money when we have many other needs in the state of Kentucky?"

Currently 33 states allow executions.

The chair of the Kentucky Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, the Reverend Patrick Delahanty, believes there's momentum in Kentucky to stop lethal injection.

"We didn't have to approach this man. He, on his own, felt strongly enough about the issue to go ahead and file legislation of this type. And this is not easy legislation to file; this is legislation that is controversial and takes work."

The proposed bill would make the life-without-parole sentence retroactive for the 34 men and one woman currently on death row in Kentucky. Representative Rollins says his realistic goal is to get the bill passed in the House and to a Senate committee.

A link to HB48 is at lrc.ky.gov. More information on the death penalty situation is at deathpenaltyinfo.org.




Greg Stotelmyer , Public News Service - KY