Anyone thirsting for an execution in Kentucky will have to wait. Franklin Circuit Court Judge Phillip Shepherd issued a ruling this week that there are still unresolved issues in a lawsuit brought in 2006 by several death row inmates. Until these are resolved executions are on hold.
This continued delay highlights how ineffective it is to promise citizens, especially victim family members, justice in a system flawed by the use of the death penalty. For more on this story click here. To read what Judge Shepherd has written click here and here.
For more information read about the concerns expressed by the American Bar Association’s team of Kentucky legal experts and judges who spent two years studying Kentucky’s death sentencing process: 60 Percent of Kentucky Death Sentences Overturned.
It’s time for lawmakers to quit offering a hollow promise of justice in Kentucky. To help accomplish this, please contact your state legislators and consider becoming a generous, financial supporter of the Coalition.
– December 7, 2013
Three opportunities are now available to KCADP supporters to help themselves, help others and help build the Coalition. Click on ‘Continued’ to see other ways to help.
On the first weekend of December, our outreach coordinator, Shekinah Lavalle, is organizing a “yardsale” fundraiser at Flea Off Market in Louisville. Flea Off Market is a locally run community flea market that is held in the parking lot of Fresh Start Grower’s Supply between Jefferson and Market Streets on Baxter Ave. The Flea Off Market takes place the first weekend of every month.
If you are normal, you probably have something laying around your home that could be put to better use in someone else’s home. Shekinah wants to help you do that. Please call her at 502.636.1330 or email her if you’d like to donate items we can sell on the first weekend of December at the Flea Off Market. You win, the buyer wins, KCADP wins. Continued…
– November 17, 2013
In 2011, we printed a post about a University of Louisville study by Professors Thomas Mowen and Ryan Schroeder that found a rise in opposition to the death penalty among the family members of murder victims.
We are thrilled to announce the publication of No need to kill, a booklet featuring reflections by nine persons who lost loved ones to murder. What they say here puts flesh and blood to the findings of the study cited above.
Last week No need to kill was mailed to each of Kentucky’s 138 legislators so they can read about real family members and their experiences of loss. Their stories make clear they want justice; they want violent offenders held accountable and severely punished.
But they do not want them executed. Continued…
– November 7, 2013
Sister Helen Prejean will be speaking at two events in Kentucky in December. She is coming to promote the 20th anniversary of Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States which Random House is re-issuing. It includes a new Forward and several new Afterwards.
She is also coming to help us celebrate the 25th anniversary of the incorporation of the Kentucky Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty on December 10.
On December 5, at 7 p.m., she will speak at the main branch of the Louisville Free Public Library at 4th and York in downtown Louisville. This event is free, but you have to have tickets. To reserve your ticket, visit the Library website by clicking here.
On the following day, Sister Helen will speak in Lexington at 6:30 p.m. The public is invited to come to St. Peter Church at 145 Barr Street, in downtown Lexington.
The title of her talk is DEAD MAN WALKING – THE JOURNEY CONTINUES. Continued…
– October 30, 2013
NOVEMBER 2, 2013 – Post updated with exact times and places for the events where Sabrina will speak. If other venues are developed we will update as necessary. Click on ‘continued’ to see complete schedule.
Sabrina Butler Porter heads up the next WITNESS TO INNOCENCE TOUR from November 18 – 26. Hers is the dramatic story of a young mother sent to Mississippi’s death row for the alleged murder of her infant son, Walter. Check the schedule below to see if she is coming to your community.
Sabrina Butler Porter
Sabrina was 17 years old when she found her infant son, Walter, had stopped breathing. She tried to revive him but by the time Walter reached the emergency room it was too late. The medics who served Walter found bruises and called the police. Those bruises led to Sabrina’s arrest the very next day.
Sabrina spent 33 months on death row in Mississippi for a murder that never happened. Her child died of medical causes. Sabrina did not testify during her trial. Mississippi prosecutors used this against her and told the jury there was more to the story and she refused to tell it. This misconduct on the part of the prosecutor was cited by the Mississippi Supreme Court in overturning her conviction:
The prosecution could hardly have made the point plainer if it had simply come out and said, “There is a lot more to tell, but Butler has not seen fit to get on the witness stand and tell you.”
These comments were reversible error, so egregious in fact that even if there had been no objection at trial, we would nevertheless have been obligated to reverse. Livingston, 525 So.2d at 1305-08.
The National Registry of Exonerations website reports that following this reversal and the granting of a new trial the defense obtained a change of venue and the trial was moved to another county. Butler’s attorney, Clive Stafford Smith, presented testimony from neighbors who said Butler had attempted to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the baby, and so did one of the neighbors. A medical expert testified that the injuries could have been caused by those efforts to save the child. Continued…
– October 21, 2013