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Bowling Green Daily News lays out the problems with Kentucky’s death penalty

The Bowling Green Daily News's logoThese excerpts from the Bowling Green Daily News’s “Stinnett sentencing process begins: Death penalty an option, but it wouldn’t mean a swift execution,” do an excellent job of explaining why the death penalty should be abolished in Kentucky.

Victim’s families deserve more care and concern

The appeals process for inmates sentenced to death in Kentucky works differently than for others receiving lesser sentences upon conviction at trial.”The appeals process for anybody in that situation is that it goes directly to the state Supreme Court,” Yustas said, noting that the process bypasses the Kentucky Court of Appeals.

A defendant in a death penalty case has 30 days from the date a judge imposes a final sentence to file an appeal.

And in November, the Supreme Court of Kentucky suspended executions in the state until the state Department of Corrections revises its procedures for execution. Kentucky has used three drugs in lethal injections when executing an inmate.

The ruling, which pertained to three inmates slated for execution, also required that the state Corrections Department hold public hearings and publish details of the death penalty procedure.

Out of step with modern thinking

A 2006 University of Kentucky comparison study indicated that support for the death penalty has decreased over the years.

That study showed that support for the death penalty declined from 35.9 percent in 1989 to 30.8 percent in 1999, with that figure holding steady over the next seven years.

Also, preference for long-term sentences such as life without parole increased from 46 percent in 1989 to almost 68 percent in 2006.

Unnecessary

Kentucky has executed only three inmates since 1976, the most recent execution occurring in 2008. Two of the three inmates volunteered to be executed.

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