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American Bar Association announces review of Kentucky’s death penalty system as Attorney General candidate Jack Conway requests three death warrants

American Bar Association announces it’s conducting an assessment of Kentucky’s broken death penalty system

While Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway asked Gov. Steve Beshear to set execution dates for three inmates, the American Bar Association (ABA) announced that it’s appointed 10 former judges and lawyers to assess Kentucky’s death penalty system.

According to the Lexington Herald-Leader,

The American Bar Association 10-person panel of law professors, former state supreme court justices, one prosecutor and several lawyers, will examine the state’s death penalty procedures to ensure that it is fair.

The American Bar Association has done similar reviews in eight other states. After those results were released in 2007, the ABA called for a moratorium on executions, because all eight states showed that there were major racial disparities, inadequate defense services and irregularities in the granting of clemency.

Attorney General spokesperson tells media that Jack Conway wasn’t aware of the pending ABA assessment

Conway’s spokesperson, Allison Martin, claimed that the attorney general was not aware of the review, although the Herald-Leader points out that many other attorneys in the state were:

“The office of the Attorney General was never contacted by the ABA regarding a death penalty review in the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” Martin said. But the Department of Public Advocacy apparently knew about it as did several lawyers who wrote letters to Beshear and Conway asking for the moratorium, Martin said.

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